Alabama-based Amazon fulfillment center workers decisively vote against unionization

Polycount

Posts: 2,843   +575
Staff member
In brief: Amazon has been criticized for treating its workers poorly in the past, with said critics citing the company's hyper-focus on productivity and efficiency as the primary reason. To improve the tech giant's working conditions, employees of its BHM1 fulfillment center in Alabama attempted to unionize -- unfortunately, the initiative failed to rally enough votes to pass.

Of the 3,000 employees who participated in the vote, 1,700 chose to reject unionization, while 738 voted in favor of it. The remaining 500-or-so ballots would not change the outcome of the vote, so they have not been tallied yet, according to CNBC. Even if they were all pro-unionization, the movement's detractors would've won by around 200 votes.

That's not a massive margin of victory for Amazon and its anti-union employees, but it's still a decisive one. At least, for now -- the results of the vote are being challenged by the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU). In a news post published today, the organization suggests conduct from Amazon created an "atmosphere of confusion, coercion, and/or fear of reprisals," and thus interfered with workers' freedom of choice.

The RWDSU accuses Amazon of "bombarding" workers with signs, ads, texts, and calls that spread anti-union sentiments, as well as illegally collaborating with the USPS to install a ballot drop box near the BHM1 warehouse.

While it will be up to the National Labor Relations Board to determine the validity of these objections in an upcoming hearing, there is at least some evidence to support that last accusation -- the bit about the ballot drop box.

A pro-union group known (aptly) as More Perfect Union took to Twitter to post screenshots of alleged emails between USPS employees. The group claims these emails show that Amazon "privately pressured" the USPS to install an "illegal ballot dropbox" at BHM1.

We'll let you read the emails and decide the truth for yourself. If they're legitimate, they don't paint Amazon in the best light, but perhaps the company will come forward with some counter-evidence of its own.

Masthead credit: Jonathan Weiss

Permalink to story.

 

brucek

Posts: 767   +1,062
TechSpot Elite
So now pro-union (typically left/democrat in the US) are complaining that a convenient mailbox made it too easy to vote? (Whereas the the typical left/democratic complaint is against jurisdictions making it too difficult to vote?)

I hate all this political sideshow gamesmanship. Elections should be about who has the better ideas / proposals, not about how easy or hard it is to vote, and that's not an opinion I waffle back and forth on depending on what's being voted on. And of course any any workplace with 3000+ employees should have a convenient mailbox, gimme a break.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 384   +658
Not sure why they're going to such lengths when there's a mountain of evidence of Amazon doing union busting with twitter bots, internal communication, etc. Any of those coming from your employer can easily be constituted as a threat to your livelihood so the fact that there's any pretense there's any kind of fair voting process is frankly a farce.

But we knew that already and most employees looking to unionize probably knew that too: The solution is tried and true: STRIKE. Generalized strike, as wide as you can. They can ignore requests to unionize but they can't ignore even the 30% of people voting to unionizing basically destroying their ability to do business.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 404   +562
I would say an over 2:1 margin is a pretty decisive vote. I don't think all 500 of the uncounted votes would have gone in a single direction and would most likely follow the trend.
I disagree. Many times the loudest voices don’t represent the general population. Given the loudest voices seemed to be the minority vote here, I bet almost everybody pro-union participated in the vote and are disproportionately not represented in the remaining 500. Of course this is all speculation so it doesn’t mean anything.
EDIT: Never mind, I misread the article. The remaining 500 votes have been collected, just not counted.
Polycount said:
To improve the tech giant's working conditions, employees of its BHM1 fulfillment center in Alabama attempted to unionize -- unfortunately, the initiative failed to rally enough votes to pass.
I don’t particularly care because this isn’t an important topic to me or anything, but the way this is phrased shows some bias... Actually TechSpot is very good in that respect and I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen a writer lean one way in their reporting.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,785   +3,992
So now pro-union (typically left/democrat in the US) are complaining that a convenient mailbox made it too easy to vote? (Whereas the the typical left/democratic complaint is against jurisdictions making it too difficult to vote?)

I hate all this political sideshow gamesmanship.
And yet you seem to have no qualms about engaging in such yourself. :rolleyes: Got it!
 

Arbie

Posts: 239   +447
Well, if we can challenge a national election - on zero actual evidence, it turns out - then every election is fair game. Why even bother having them? For example, on the national level we can just go with the current Republican attempts to have the President chosen by state legislatures. That will save a lot of money.
 
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umbala

Posts: 339   +434
They don't want a union? That's fine. What's the big deal? If they enjoy working like slaves for minimum wage then let them have it. Amazon is a trillion dollar company that makes billions upon billions of profit every year. God forbid they'd have to give up a tiny sliver of those profits to make things better for their workers. These people who voted against the union deserve exactly what they're getting from Amazon.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 1,078   +1,031
TechSpot Elite
They don't want a union? That's fine. What's the big deal? If they enjoy working like slaves for minimum wage then let them have it. Amazon is a trillion dollar company that makes billions upon billions of profit every year. God forbid they'd have to give up a tiny sliver of those profits to make things better for their workers. These people who voted against the union deserve exactly what they're getting from Amazon.
Couldn't have been said any better. I don't know what it is here in the deep South (I am in Little Rock), but the cutting of ones own throat is more of a religion than religion. Unions are not for everyone but I can't think of any group that could have benefited more than down here. The minimum wage in Alabama is $7.25 and now you see why. The deep South cant even vote for themselves.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,395   +3,888
Well, if we can challenge a national election - on zero actual evidence, it turns out - then every election is fair game. Why even bother having them? For example, on the national level we can just go with the current Republican attempts to have the President chosen by state legislatures. That will save a lot of money.

SIGH..this bulls**t again? There was a MOUNTAIN of evidence. The courts, bought off by Facebook (to the tune of $350 million), and the FBI which was weaponized by the Obama admininstration, simply refused to hear it. Or maybe you didn't read the Time Magazine article where they crowed about a huge left-wing conspiricy disenfranchising Trump voters, changing laws at the last minute to make election fraud easier, etc? Its pretty eye-opening, and very depressing.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 1,078   +1,031
TechSpot Elite
Time Magazine article where they crowed about a huge left-wing conspiricy
I swear brother please don't tell me you are speaking of the Molly Ball story.
And if not which one?

Do you realize that it is impossible to bribe every single FBI agent not to mention 63 court judges? Half appointed by trump.

And not to be a **** but where is the Mountain of evidence?
Evidence that doesn't come with music from the Twilight Zone I mean. :p
 
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AMN3S1AC

Posts: 49   +25
The election was held, we got a winner. Now, as always in modern society, the losers just can't handle it. It seems like every time there is a vote for something, those who didn't get what they wanted just cry and moan endlessly afterwards. Obviously, Amazon was going to use all their resources to put forward their standpoint, I'm pretty sure those who were pro-union were pretty vocal too. And with regards to the dropbox, how did the addition of it sway what the voters chose?
 
"unfortunately, the initiative failed to rally enough votes to pass"

You want to write "unfortunately things will end up as the workers wanted" also? The result respects what the workers want, not what you want.

what ridiculous bias in your reporting
 
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Puiu

Posts: 4,489   +3,321
TechSpot Elite
SIGH..this bulls**t again? There was a MOUNTAIN of evidence. The courts, bought off by Facebook (to the tune of $350 million), and the FBI which was weaponized by the Obama admininstration, simply refused to hear it. Or maybe you didn't read the Time Magazine article where they crowed about a huge left-wing conspiricy disenfranchising Trump voters, changing laws at the last minute to make election fraud easier, etc? Its pretty eye-opening, and very depressing.
It's statements like this that make others laugh at conspiracy theory nuts. There was no evidence and the courts certainly didn't receive any.

Have you even read the Time Magazine article? It's embarrassing that people even take it seriously and didn't do any fact checking or research on it when they use it in "arguments". Worse yet, they don't even know what was actually written, they just know the comments from what others think about it.
 
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GeforcerFX

Posts: 1,006   +473
They don't want a union? That's fine. What's the big deal? If they enjoy working like slaves for minimum wage then let them have it. Amazon is a trillion dollar company that makes billions upon billions of profit every year. God forbid they'd have to give up a tiny sliver of those profits to make things better for their workers. These people who voted against the union deserve exactly what they're getting from Amazon.
Amazon warehouse workers get base pay starting at $15 an hour and base level employees are as high as $20 an hour after working there a few years. They offer all the same benefits most company's do to full time workers. I don't get where everyone gets the minimum wage crap from anymore company's like amazon and walmart are the ones spearheading higher base pay in the industry, there are far worse retail companies pay wise out there.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 1,078   +1,031
TechSpot Elite
Have you even read the Time Magazine article? It's embarrassing that people even take it seriously and didn't do any fact checking or research on it when they use it in "arguments". Worse yet, they don't even know what was actually written, they just know comments from what others think about it.
I respect psycros quite a bit but this is true. I'm sure he was speaking of the story from Molly Ball, and all that was talked about is political strategy. And none is much different than what we heard at the last CPAC or Republican Convention.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 1,078   +1,031
TechSpot Elite
"unfortunately, the initiative failed to rally enough votes to pass"

You want to write "unfortunately things will end up as the workers wanted" also?

what ridiculous bias in your reporting
Maybe I missed the part where Polycount claimed to be balanced in the article and, news flash. The writer has every bit the right to be pro-union and write about it as you have to misjudge and mischaracterize it.
 

OptimumSlinky

Posts: 264   +498
SIGH..this bulls**t again? There was a MOUNTAIN of evidence. The courts, bought off by Facebook (to the tune of $350 million), and the FBI which was weaponized by the Obama admininstration, simply refused to hear it. Or maybe you didn't read the Time Magazine article where they crowed about a huge left-wing conspiricy disenfranchising Trump voters, changing laws at the last minute to make election fraud easier, etc? Its pretty eye-opening, and very depressing.
The courts refused to hear it (Republican judges no less) because there WAS NO EVIDENCE. There was literally not enough to build even a remotely credible case, and so the 40+ lawsuits were all thrown out. Even the so-called "Kraken" ***** admits she was lying.

Trump is a deeply unpopular figure who lost the popular vote twice. There is no vast left-wing conspiracy against conservatives, despite your massive victim complex.