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Bessemer Amazon union vote too close to call

Workers at the Bessemer facility appear to have voted against joining a union, but by a margin so small that challenged ballots could change the outcome.

(STOCK PHOTO)

Workers at Amazon’s Bessemer facility appear to have voted for a second time not to join a union, but there remain more than 400 contested ballots, which are more than enough to change the outcome. 

The vote count as of Thursday afternoon was 875 in favor of joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and 993 against doing so, although there were 416 challenged ballots, which, if the regional director of the National Labor relations Board at a hearing decides should be counted, could change the outcome of the election. A hearing date hasn’t yet been set as of Friday morning. 

“Any employer, corporation or billionaire who tries to intimidate or harass employees to interfere with the democratic voting process is breaking the law, end of story,” Liz Shuler, president and CEo of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, said in a statement. “Amazon workers have a legal right to a truly free and fair union election. They are asking for what should be the standard for every American worker: safe working conditions, fair wages, and dignity and respect on the job.” 

“We will not allow Amazon to bully workers out of exercising their basic freedom. Every single contested ballot must be counted,” Shuler continued. “The National Labor Relations Board must take swift action to hold Amazon accountable for any further misconduct.”

The NLRB in November ordered a second union vote at the Bessemer fulfillment center, noting in a decision that Amazon’s installation of false ballot boxes created an “impression of surveillance.”

In the first union election in 2021 workers voted 1,798 against and 738 for unionization. 

Written By

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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