Amazon continues to win.

On Friday, the company put its union battle in the “W” column, having secured enough votes to defeat the unionization drive at its Bessemer, Ala., warehouse.

From 3,215 ballots cast, 1,798 opposed the union and 738 were in favor. Approximately 5,800 workers at the Bessemer warehouse were eligible to vote whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. 

Amazon needed 1,608 votes, just over 50% of ballots cast, to win. The election must be formally certified by the National Labor Relations Board.

The result is another tough one for organized labor aiming to unionize a U.S. Amazon facility for the first time. According to Bureau of Labor and Statistics tracking, overall union membership in the U.S. declined from 20.1 percent in 1983 to 10.8 percent in 2020.

Amazon flexed its resources, bringing aboard the same law firm it used to assist with negotiations during a failed 2014 union drive in Delaware.

RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum plans to challenge the election results.

“We won’t let Amazon’s lies, deception and illegal activities go unchallenged, which is why we are formally filing charges against all of the egregious and blatantly illegal actions taken by Amazon during the union vote,” Appelbaum said in a statement. “We demand a comprehensive investigation over Amazon’s behavior in corrupting this election.”

Not surprisingly, Amazon disagreed.

“Our employees heard far more anti-Amazon messages from the union, policymakers, and media outlets than they heard from us,” a company statement said. “And Amazon didn’t win — our employees made the choice to vote against joining a union.”

Amazon employs 800,000 people in the U.S., making it the second largest private employer in the country behind Walmart.

Add comment

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.