May 25, 2022

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Stores Union (RWDSU) filed an objection today following a new vote in the Bessemer, Alabama union. The election results were not final but approved by Amazon as some contested ballots did not count. After the union’s victory in the Staten Island vote, which was tallied the same day, Amazon raised its objections.

Alabama’s formal objection to the vote was filed with the National Labor Relations Board four months after RWDSU forced a local by-election. This time around, the results were pretty close, although the tide turned from 993 to 875 in favor of Amazon, with 416 ballots potentially closing the gap.

RWDSU’s list of complaints is long, ranging from retaliation and employee intimidation to surveillance, imminent polling station closures and voter list discrepancies. The full list of complaints can be viewed here. Union President Stuart Applebaum made the following statement.

Amazon employees are facing an unnecessarily long and aggressive fight to unify their workplace, with Amazon going to great lengths to misinform and mislead employees. The company broke the law in the first election and will no doubt break it again in this re-election. We will continue to hold Amazon accountable and ensure that the voices of employees are heard. We object to Amazon’s conduct in this election, including several attempts to intimidate employees, to the extent of firing and suspending union supporters.

Meanwhile, Amazon filed a complaint with the NLRB over the Staten Island vote last week. This number was more decisive than in Alabama: 2654 to 2131 with 57 votes. Shortly after the count ended, the company issued a statement accusing the Labor Council of giving the thumbs up, telling gaming-updates: IWe are disappointed with the results of the Staten Island election as we believe a direct relationship with the company is best for our employees. We are evaluating our options, including raising objections from the NLRB based on the undue and undue influence we and others (including the National Retail Federation and the US Chamber of Commerce) have seen in this election.

Tomorrow’s original filing deadline was pushed back to April 22 after the filing flagged “substantial” objections to the role the company played in the vote. It’s been an uphill battle on both sides, and Amazon is no doubt wary of some kind of chain reaction with Starbucks in recent months.

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