Amazon union drive in Alabama sees 39% voter turnout

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  • More than 2,300 Amazon employees cast their ballots in a do-over union drive at one of the company’s Alabama warehouses, resulting in a turnover rate of about 39%, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union said Wednesday.
  • At that rate, employee turnout in the election was lower than last year’s contest.

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More than 2,300 ballots were cast in a closely watched union election at one of Amazon’s Alabama warehouses, according to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store union.

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Roughly 39% of the 6,143 eligible voters cast their ballots in the election. That’s lower than the first election last spring, when the turnout was about 55%.

Workers at the Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse are voting for the second time on whether to join the RWDSU. Last spring, Amazon workers at the warehouse, known as BHM1, overwhelmingly rejected unionization. The National Labor Relations Board ordered a new election after it found Amazon improperly interfered in the union contest.

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BHM1 workers had from Feb. 4 to March 25 to mail in their ballots. The NLRB on Monday began counting the votes privately, during which Amazon and the RWDSU had the opportunity to challenge ballots.

The public portion of the vote count is expected to begin as soon as Thursday afternoon, the RWDSU said.

National labor unions have long set their sights on organizing Amazon warehouse and delivery workers, but so far, no Amazon warehouse in the US has successfully unionized.

The Bessemer election is concluding just as another Amazon warehouse wraps up its union drive. Voting at an Amazon warehouse on New York’s Staten Island ended on Wednesday. The NLRB is expected to begin counting ballots on Thursday.

WATCH: Amazon union vote may get a ‘do-over’

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