The Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union mentioned that more than 3,200 ballots were cast in a high-stakes union election which is at one of Amazon’s Alabama warehouses.
This election was open to over 5,800 employees at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse who are voting whether to join the RWDSU. Around 3,215 total ballots cast, which resulted in a turnout rate of roughly 55% that comparatively higher than what the RWDSU has initially estimated.
Until 29th March, workers had submitted their ballots through the mail. In the last week, the vote-counting began through a private video conference, which presided over the NLRB at the time when the Amazon and the union contest ballots were based on several factors like an illegible signature or whether a person’s job classification entitles them to vote.
RWDSU mentioned that on Thursday or Friday morning, the public portion of the vote count is highly expected to start.
According to RWDSU, hundreds of ballots were challenged mostly by Amazon. Although if the margin of victory ends up being less than the total number of challenged ballots then the final tally might be temporarily halted unless those challenges are sorted through hearing held by the NLRB. However, if any ballots accept might be added to the tally. Additionally, there can be further legal challenges in the store which either Amazon or the union has the chance to challenge the election result that might further delay the outcome.
Inside and outside of the Amazon, the election in Bessemer will become a closely watched event. However, this might establish the first union at one of the e-commerce giant’s warehouses in the U.S.
Bessemer employees were in the favor of the union who have raised a number of issues which may breakneck pace of work, lack of adequate break time, and other grievances. Notably, Amazon has also maintained that it never needs a union to come in between it and its workers.
However, both the representative of Amazon and NLRB remained silent and didn’t respond to the request for comment.