Amazon

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama will vote for a second time on whether to unionize. A yes vote means it will be company’s first unionized warehouse in the United States.

Challenges During Previous Voting Campaign

The first elections were in early last year. During the first union election at Amazon’s Bessemer, Ala. warehouse, the organizers largely avoided visiting workers. The number of COVID-19 cases were very high at that time and very few American’s were vaccinated. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union believed that it was prudent to be cautious. Although it affected their campaign and inflicted defeat. They now trying again after a federal ruling found Amazon unfairly influenced the first election.

Labor Movement is Optimistic

The labor movement is pulling a few punches. Several national unions have collectively sent dozens of organizers to Bessemer to help rally workers. Organizers and workers put in efforts during past several months in door-to-door campaign to build support for the union. Ballots will go out on Friday to more than 6,100 workers at the warehouse in Bessemer, outside Birmingham. They will vote by mail due to the pandemic and the count is will start in later March. “That loss is making us motivated to win even more”. Bessemer worker Kristina Bell told reporters on a call organized by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

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    “It’s a huge difference that was made possible by vaccinations”. Stuart Appelbaum, the retail workers president said in his statement. The union is planning to complete their door-to-door campaign before the voting starts.

    Historic Trend is Posing a Challenge

    However, it is highly improbable that the new elections will make any difference. The data form National Labor Relations Board suggests that unions have won fewer than half of similar elections since late 2010. “In cases where the margin of victory is pretty significant one way or the other, the outcome often doesn’t change the second time”. David Pryzbylski, a management-side lawyer at Barnes & Thornburg commented on the matter.

    Nationwide, the Great Resignation wave has affected the economy. High profile strikes and labor campaigns are further punctuating the economy. Turnover at Amazon is high and is increased to 150 percent even an year before this latest turnover wave.

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