Reigniting a national debate, employees at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama will have a second chance to vote on unionisation.
The e-commerce behemoth has been ordered by a regional director of the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold the election for employees at its Bessemer warehouse once more.
Workers rejected a demand to create a union by a two-to-one margin in April. In August, the National Labor Relations Board charged that Amazon intervened with the election process.
While the vote represents a significant victory for labour activists, it is not the news Amazon was hoping to hear. “Sadly, the NLRB has now concluded that those votes shouldn’t count,” a company spokeswoman said in a written statement.
The vote will be rescheduled at a later date. As a result of the election, Amazon, the second-largest private employer in the United States, is once again in the spotlight. In recent decades, union membership has progressively declined in the United States, but the pandemic reignited worries about wage inequality and worker safety, with Amazon attracting a lot of attention.
The corporation has recently faced strong union campaigns in New York and Canada.
The RWDSU had hoped that the epidemic, which enhanced Amazon’s profitability while exposing its employees to new health risks, would provide the union with a chance to gain support and establish a new standard for Amazon workers across the country.
Organizers linked the Bessemer walkout to broader issues about civil rights and racial justice, citing complaints about over-monitoring and management’s abrupt, impersonal attitude.
Employees were allegedly forced to deposit ballots into a mailbox that was visible to an Amazon camera, providing the impression of surveillance, according to the union. If the union campaign is successful, the employer will be required to meet with union representatives to discuss issues such as working conditions and wages.