Currently, the “no” votes lead 993 to 875 in the Bessemer, Alabama Amazon Union election. It’s a win for Amazon, which has avoided worker organisation in its fulfilment hubs for its entire 27-year history. The margin is less than last year’s election, when the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Association successfully demanded a recount, citing worries about Amazon’s tactics.
Tonight’s results are likewise ambiguous. Along with 59 invalid votes, 416 are currently “challenged.” Due to the possibility of a tie for the “yes” vote, a hearing will be held to determine if the ballots should be added. Currently, the challenges are unknown. Neither party may have wanted them included for various reasons.
The RWDSU told TechCrunch in a statement:
Every vote counts. Amazon employees had to suffer an unnecessary and relentless unionisation campaign, with Amazon spreading misinformation and lies. We will hold Amazon accountable and file complaints about their conduct. They never gave up in this unreasonably protracted process. Workers will have to wait a little longer to have their views heard, but our union will be with them every step of the way. Workers in Bessemer, Alabama, have inspired workers around the country and around the world to fight for change at their workplaces, including those organising at Amazon across the country. And we know that this conflict will permanently change how Americans regard unions in this nation. This union election shows that joining a union is the best method for workers to defend themselves and their families.
The hearing is expected to take place over the next two weeks.
Amazon and the union, like last year’s election, attentively followed today’s outcomes. Amazon has battled hard against unionisation efforts, fearing a RWDSU foothold may trigger a chain reaction. Starbucks has been driving union initiatives nationwide since early union victories. It reflects shifting attitudes on labour rights, particularly among vital workers during the pandemic.
The Bessemer mail-in voting results overlap with another drive at Staten Island, New York’s JFK8 fulfilment site. “Yes” leads 1,518 to 1,154. Counting will continue tomorrow morning at 9:30 AM ET.
Amazon, as in the Alabama election, has resisted JFK8’s union attempts. Trespassing allegations led to the arrest of three former employees in February. Smalls denied the claims, claiming reporters they were merely there to feed staff.
CNBC reported earlier today that Amazon has engaged Global Strategy Group, a Democratic Party-affiliated organisation, to help fight labour organising.