Amazon staff members at a Bessemer, Alabama storage facility have voted against unionizing the facilitys roughly 5,800-person labor force.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that out of 3,041 potentially valid votes, 1,798 employees at the BHM1 fulfillment center had actually voted against signing up with a union, while 738 workers enacted favor. (The union had actually formerly reported gathering a total of 3,215 ballots.) The eligibility for 505 tallies was objected to, primarily by Amazon; since more than half the total votes opposed unionization, these challenged ballots were not opened.
Employees enacted February and March by mail over whether to sign up with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), a possibility Amazon battled with anti-union conferences and other aggressive measures. BHM1 is only the 2nd US Amazon center to hold a union vote, following a far smaller group of warehouse service technicians in Delaware. It would have become the biggest group to gain representation in a single NLRB election given that 1991 if workers had actually authorized the union.
Its the 2nd Amazon center union vote in the United States
The RWDSU says it will appeal the election, asking for a hearing on whether the election results should be reserved. “We wont let Amazons lies, deception and illegal activities go unchallenged, which is why we are officially submitting charges against all of the egregious and blatantly prohibited actions taken by Amazon during the union vote,” RWDSU president Stuart Appelbaum stated in a declaration on Friday. “We demand a comprehensive examination over Amazons habits in corrupting this election.”
1/2 Thank you to workers at our BHM1 fulfillment center in Alabama for taking part in the election. Theres been a lot of noise over the previous couple of months, and were grateful that your collective voices were lastly heard.– Amazon News (@amazonnews) April 9, 2021
Amazon tweeted in support of employees who had actually voted versus the union. “Its simple to anticipate the union will say that Amazon won this election since we daunted staff members, but thats not real,” it stated in a news release. “Amazon didnt win– our staff members made the choice to vote against joining a union.”
Amazon has actually long resisted unionization and waged an aggressive campaign in Bessemer. Amazon ran a multi-pronged anti-union advertisement project, consisting of Facebook ads, storage facility banners, signs in the break spaces and washrooms, mailers, and a constant barrage of text messages to employees.
These tactics are normally legal under US labor law, which substantially benefits employers. While Amazon enjoyed unfettered access to staff members at the satisfaction center, organizers werent permitted inside and instead needed to campaign in the car park, canvassing staff members as they left. During the project, Amazon had the county change the timing on a traffic light leaving the storage facility car park, a measure the company said was required to minimize blockage however which organizers state made their work harder.
” Our system is broken”.
One possible technique the union could contest is Amazons push to have a mail box installed at the warehouse site. Documents acquired by the union through a records demand exposed Amazon advised the U.S. Postal Service to set up the dropbox as the voting procedure began. The NLRB had actually previously overruled Amazons request to host in-person ballot at the warehouse, saying that in addition to presenting a COVID-19 threat, it would produce the impression the company had a role in the election. Amazon has stated the mailbox was meant to make voting much easier, however the union states it had the prospective to daunt workers which its guidelines to have employees send their ballots to it made up inappropriate ballot harvesting.
Amazon workers outside BHM1 have actually brought out more informal activism, including during the coronavirus pandemic, when employees claimed that Amazon had actually stopped working to expose COVID-19 cases and offer sufficient protective steps. In grievances acquired by news outlets, the NLRB identified that Amazon illegally retaliated against some of these workers. The NLRB also found that Amazon acted illegally in shooting two workers who pushed it to resolve its climate effect.
Update April 9th, 11:30 AM ET: Updated vote count and included statement from RWDSU.
Update April 9th, 12:15 PM ET: Updated vote count with last numbers from the NLRB.
Update April 9th, 12:40 PM ET: Added declaration from Amazon.
Employees voted in February and March by mail over whether to sign up with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), a possibility Amazon battled with anti-union conferences and other aggressive steps. “We will not let Amazons lies, deception and illegal activities go unchallenged, which is why we are officially filing charges against all of the outright and blatantly illegal actions taken by Amazon throughout the union vote,” RWDSU president Stuart Appelbaum said in a declaration on Friday. Amazon tweeted in support of employees who had voted against the union. “Amazon didnt win– our workers made the option to vote versus signing up with a union.”
Amazon employees outside BHM1 have actually carried out more casual activism, including during the coronavirus pandemic, when employees declared that Amazon had actually stopped working to expose COVID-19 cases and offer adequate protective measures.