Amazon Union Drive In Alabama Sees 55% Voter Turnout

Around 55 percent of workers at Amazon’s Alabama warehouse mailed in their ballots to decide whether to organize a union, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union or RWDSU said. The public vote count is expected to begin Thursday.

In the mail-in voting on unionization at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, more than 3,200 mail ballots were received by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board or NLRB. The election, which started in February, was open to over 5,800 workers at the warehouse and the ballots were to be returned by March 29.

The results of the voting would decide whether the Alabama warehouse be the first Amazon facility ever to unionize in the U.S.

Amazon, union, or the labor board can challenge the ballots on any doubts of being tampered, fraudulent or from a worker ineligible to vote. RWDSU reportedly said that hundreds of ballots were challenged mostly by the employer.

Amazon workers at the facility had filed paperwork in last November for an election, seeking to join the RWDSU.

The technology major, which was seeking a manual election despite the pandemic crisis, had tried to halt the mail unionization vote at the warehouse earlier this year, where 85 percent of the employees are Black. The company requested the Board to halt the vote, asking to reconsider its plan. Amazon then argued that NLRB data show elections conducted by mail have a lower participation rate, and that the company was trying to increase turnout among employees.

However, the NLRB rejected the company’s request for a delay in election, and allowed the warehouse workers in Alabama to start their mail-in voting on unionization.

Meanwhile, a new poll result showed that 77 percent of Americans Support Amazon union drive at the warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. AFL-CIO and GBAO released a nationwide poll of registered voters that found more than three-quarters of Americans support workers’ efforts to organize a union.

In February, Data for Progress found that 69 percent of likely voters supported the unionization effort.

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