Counting strongly favors Amazon in warehouse union vote

It’s been a little over a week since union voting concluded for Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama. Things have been fairly quiet in the eye of the storm for most of it. That changed today, however, as vote counting began in earnest. Thus far, things are breaking pretty dramatically in the company’s favor, following a hard-fought anti-union campaign.

As of the end of the day, no votes have more than doubled the yeses, at 1,100 to 463. With counting resuming — and likely concluding — tomorrow, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which would potentially serve as the worker’s union, is decrying the company’s tactics.

“Our system is broken, Amazon took full advantage of that, and we will be calling on the labor board to hold Amazon accountable for its illegal and egregious behavior during the campaign,” RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “But make no mistake about it; this still represents an important moment for working people and their voices will be heard.”

The comments appear to be as much about actions the company has taken during the campaign as it is bracing for a likely challenge to the results. The numbers constitute around half of the 3,215 ballots that are being counted. They put Amazon around 500 no votes away from defeating union efforts.

We have reached out to the company for a response to Appelbaum’s comment, but have not heard back. In a comment offered to TechCrunch last month, the company had less than stellar words about Appelbaum, calling the union head the “Chief Disinformation Officer,” adding that “in an attempt to save his long declining union, [he] is taking alternative facts to a whole new level.”

Regardless of the final count, this process is likely to be drawn out. Among the complaints are reports that the company pushed the USPS to install an illegal ballot box, breaking National Labor Relations Board rulings in the process.


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