As the day’s tally concludes, Amazon union votes return mixed results – TechCrunch

At the end of today’s tally in the Amazon Union elections in Bessemer, Alabama, the “no” vote is ahead by 993 to 875. This is a positive result so far for Amazon, which has managed to completely thwart worker organizing in its fulfillment centers throughout its 27-year history. However, the margin is significantly smaller than last year’s election results, when the retail, wholesale and department store successfully forced a recount, citing multiple concerns about Amazon’s practices.

Tonight’s results aren’t as cut and dry either. In addition to 59 voided ballots, 416 are currently listed as “disputed”. Because that number could turn the tie for the “yes” vote, a hearing will be held to decide whether to include the ballots in the final count. The nature of the challenges is currently unclear. Each party may have objected to inclusion for a variety of reasons.

RWDSU noted in a statement offered to TechCrunch:

Every vote must be counted. Amazon workers endured an unnecessarily long and aggressive struggle to unionize their workplace, with Amazon doing everything in its power to spread misinformation and deception. We will hold Amazon accountable and object to their behavior. The tenacity and courage of these workers have never wavered in this unnecessarily long process. Workers will have to wait a little longer to ensure their voices are heard and our union will be with them every step of the way to ensure their voices are heard before the law. What we do know is that this moment is historic and workers in Bessemer, Alabama inspired workers across the country and around the world to fight for change in their workplaces, including other organizations at Amazon across the country. This struggle is the spark of the 21st century labor movement, and we know it will forever change the way Americans view unions in this country. This union election continues to show that the best way for workers to protect themselves and their families is to form a union.

A date for the hearing has not yet been set, but is expected to take place in the next few weeks.

As with the original election last year, today’s results were closely watched by both Amazon and the union. Amazon has fought fiercely against union organizing efforts, fearing that a RWDSU foothold could mark the beginning of a cascading effect. After early union victories, Starbucks have pushed union campaigns across the country. It’s a sign that views on labor rights are changing, especially among employees considered essential workers during the pandemic.

The count for Bessemer’s nearly two-month absentee ballot coincides with the results of another campaign at Staten Island, New York’s JFK8 fulfillment center. There, the “Yes” vote with 1,518 leads to 1,154. The count is closed for the night and is scheduled to resume tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Similar to the Alabama election, JFK8’s union efforts met significant opposition from Amazon. In February, Christian Smalls, a former staffer-turned-organizer, was among three arrested for trespassing. Smalls denied the allegations, telling the media they were only on hand to deliver lunch to the workers.

Earlier today, CNBC reported that Amazon has hired Global Strategy Group, a firm with close ties to the Democratic Party, to help combat labor organizing efforts.

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