Amazon union vote re-do date set in US


  • Amazon
  • Wednesday, 12 Jan 2022

Michael Foster of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union holds a sign outside an Amazon facility where labour is trying to organise workers in Bessemer, Alabama, USA. — AP Photo/File

Labour organisers and e-commerce giant Amazon are set for a rematch vote to begin next month on whether workers will form a union at a warehouse in Alabama, officials said Tuesday.

A closely-watched ballot last year on starting the first Amazon union in the United States ended in a stinging defeat for organisers, who accused Amazon of breaking the rules and were granted a re-do on appeal.

The National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday posted a notice saying it will mail out ballots on Feb 4, with counting of the votes set for March 28.

The results of last year's election were set aside because the NLRB found Amazon "interfered" with the election by having a mailbox installed outside the main entrance of the warehouse and polling workers during mandatory meetings, according to the notice.

"Workers' voices can and must be heard fairly, unencumbered by Amazon's limitless power to control what must be a fair and free election," said a statement from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union backing the organising effort.

The vote in the small Alabama town of Bessemer drew heavy media attention as it pitted supporters of the employees – artists, Democratic and Republican lawmakers and even President Joe Biden – against tech colossus Amazon.

"Our employees have always had the choice of whether or not to join a union, and they overwhelmingly chose not to join the RWDSU last year," Amazon senior public relations manager Barbara Agrait said in response to an AFP inquiry.

"We look forward to our team in (Bessemer) having their voices heard again."

Amazon is currently facing a group of workers in a New York warehouse also seeking to create a union. – AFP

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