Amazon violated the law during the first election, a regional National Labor Relations Board director found
Voters will have about two months to submit their ballots, with counting to begin on March 28. While Amazon won the first vote by a large margin, the Labor Board’s decision triggered another battle between Amazon and retail, wholesale and department stores. union, which is leading the campaign to organize workers in Bessemer.
An Amazon spokesperson said employees always have the option of whether or not to join the union. “They made the overwhelming decision not to join RWDSU last year,” he said, adding that Amazon is looking forward to the vote.
A spokesman for RWDSU said activist voices freed from Amazon’s immense power to control what should be fair and free elections “can and should be heard fairly, and we hold them accountable for their actions.” Will stay.”
Both sides have been presenting their side before the workers for more than a year. During that time the Sangh preached almost daily in Bessemer. Organizers have tried to connect with activists using family ties and themes from the Black Lives Matter movement. Many employees of the Bessemer facility are Black.
Meanwhile, Amazon held regular meetings inside the facility to discourage workers from voting for unionization. In the months since the first election, the company has raised its pay nationally—now an average of more than $18 an hour—and introduced new perks like paid college tuition for workers.
As parties prepare for a second vote, one of the most significant challenges facing the union is the possibility that many people working at the facility may no longer be there when the vote takes place. Labor researchers have said that with Amazon’s turnover exceeding 100% at many of its facilities, it will be more difficult for RWDSUs to gain and retain support from employees.
In December, Amazon and the NLRB struck an agreement to make organizing easier for workers. Under the agreement, Amazon is notifying past and current warehouse employees of their rights to organize their buildings via email and other internal communications, and the NLRB can more quickly hold Amazon accountable if it fails to comply with the terms of the agreement. violates.
While the deal would allow workers to gather and advocate for unionization from within Amazon facilities, union organizers who didn’t work for the company would not be allowed to enter. Rebecca Givhan, professor of labor-studies at Rutgers University, said the company could still use meetings and various means of communicating with workers to push back unionization efforts.
“With enough resources, the odds are with them,” Ms Givhan said of Amazon.
The number of eligible voters has not been made public. At the last election, the facility had about 6,000 eligible employees.
In November, a regional NLRB director ruled that Amazon installing a ballot-collection box outside its Bessemer facility during the first vote would have convinced employees that Amazon played a role in collecting and counting the ballots. Amazon did not get access to any ballots submitted through the mailbox, and the company has said it has set up the mailbox for voters’ convenience. It has said that it did not violate the law.
Roughly 71 percent of the workers who voted in the first election voted against joining the RWDSU. While supporters of the union said they demanded better work standards and benefits at the company, many voters did not think a union would significantly improve their conditions, according to interviews.
The new fight begins more than a year after organizers launched their first campaign in the working-class city outside Birmingham. After union organizers drew support from celebrities and President Biden, the election became a rallying cry for labor activists across the country. The unsuccessful campaign was a blow to union supporters, who were hoping to make Amazon the first union in the US, although the election helped spur another union in New York City, where activists are organizing in Staten Island.
Write Sebastian Herrera [email protected] . Feather