Counting begins in vote on first Amazon labor union

amazon
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

Counting of votes cast by Amazon employees at an Alabama warehouse began Tuesday to determine whether it would become the first union shop at the e-commerce colossus.

Legal wrangling over whether some ballots should be disqualified was expected to slow the process for days, with Amazon anticipated to seek to prevent unions from getting a foothold in its massive operations.

"We encouraged all of our employees to vote, and their voices will be heard in the days ahead," an Amazon spokesperson told AFP.

"Our employees know the truth—starting wages of $15 or more, from day one, and a safe and inclusive workplace."

Tally of the ballots, which have been cast by mail since February 8, will take place behind closed doors, overseen by the National Labor Relations Board. Eligibility of votes can be challenged for reasons such as signing in the wrong place or misstating a job role.

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union would represent the 5,800 employees at the Bessemer sorting and packaging site if a majority votes in favor.

Coming at a time when US President Joe Biden has promised to be the country's "most pro-union president," the Bessemer effort could open the floodgates to organizing drives at other Amazon sites, as well as at other firms.

Unions and have argued that Amazon employees face constant pressure and monitoring, with little job protection, highlighting the need for .

Amazon has argued that most of its workers don't want or need a union and that it already provides more than most other employers, with a minimum $15 hourly wage and other benefits.


Explore further

Voting ends on forming Amazon's first US union

© 2021 AFP

Citation: Counting begins in vote on first Amazon labor union (2021, March 31) retrieved 20 April 2021 from https://techxplore.com/news/2021-03-vote-amazon-labor-union.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
4 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments