By The Financial District
AMAZON UNION DRIVE LOSING AS VOTES ARE COUNTED IN ALABAMA
Amazon.com Inc warehouse employees in Alabama were on track to reject unionization by a 2-1 margin with almost half the votes counted in an election seen as a potential turning point for organized labor, Jeffrey Dastin and Nandita Bose reported for Reuters.
Of the 3,215 ballots received, workers so far voted 1,100-463 against forming a union at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. The vote count will resume at 8:30 a.m. CT (1330 GMT) on Friday.
Unionizing Amazon, the second-largest private employer in America, has been a goal for the US labor movement, which is aiming to reverse long-running declines in membership. Union membership fell to 11% of the eligible workforce in 2020 from 20% in 1983, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has said.
Even the White House was closely monitoring the ballot count with Erika-Dinkel Smith, a senior member of President Joe Biden’s labor engagement team, among over 250 participants who watched the vote count on a video call.
The White House declined to comment and Smith did not respond to a request seeking comment.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the agency overseeing the election, set up many cameras so participants and media could watch its agents count the votes.
Voter turnout was about 55%, according to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
The vote count followed more than a week of challenges to ballots during closed-door proceedings that could influence the final result.
Lawyers for Amazon and the union were allowed to question ballots on suspicion of tampering, a voter’s eligibility and other issues. The union says there have been hundreds of contested ballots, making it unclear the number of votes needed to declare a winner.
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