Amazon union vote counting begins in Alabama, New York

FILE PHOTO: Workers queue to cast ballots in a union election at Amazon's JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York City
FILE PHOTO: Workers queue to cast ballots in a union election at Amazon’s JFK8 distribution center in the Staten Island borough of New York City, the United States, on March 25, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

March 31, 2022

By Jeffrey Dastin and Danielle Kaye

(Reuters) – U.S. regulators overseeing union elections at Inc warehouses in New York and Alabama have begun evaluating thousands of workers’ votes in contests to decide whether to form unions at each plant.

If workers vote for a union, it would be an historic first for the online retail giant, which has long opposed any efforts to organize its workers.

As the second-largest private employer in the US, Amazon has long been the focus of union officials hoping that a single union victory will spur organizing efforts across the country.

The vote counts as of Thursday, monitored by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), may not result in a final decision. Ballots contested as invalid by both sides would be dealt with after the count in the event of a close election and could alter the outcome. In addition, parties may object to voting behavior that could overturn the results, as happened in Alabama last year.

A simple majority of the votes cast is required for victory.

Workers at the company’s JFK8 warehouse on Staten Island in New York City voted in person over a six-day period beginning March 25. They are voting on whether to form a new union, the Amazon Labor Union.

A repeat of last year’s failed union organizing campaign at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, ended March 25. The workers there voted by letter. They vote on whether to join the retail, wholesale and department store union.

The NLRB found that Amazon unduly interfered in the original competition, which the company won by a 2-1 margin.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in Palo Alto, California and Danielle Kaye in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker) Amazon union vote counting begins in Alabama, New York


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