In a small battle over whether or not to unionize Amazon workers in the town of Bessemer, Alabama, the Big Tech giant appears to be winning in the early count over its workers, according to ABC News.
As of Thursday, with approximately half of all total ballots counted, the vote currently appears to be against unionization; roughly 1,100 of the workers in Bessemer have voted against forming a union, while only 463 voted in favor. The count will continue on Friday, with the National Labor Relations Board overseeing the process and the counting of the votes.
The campaign for unionizing is being carried out by the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU), which claims that just over 3,200 votes have been cast, which is over half of the 6,000 total workers at the facility. The warehouse is just one of many run by Amazon across the country, with over 950,000 total employees. Amazon has repeatedly fought efforts among their own workers to unionize, and the apparent looming defeat in Alabama could further indicate the tech giant’s staying power in resisting this trend.
RWDSU President Stuart Applebaum, apparently anticipating defeat, released a statement Thursday night claiming, without evidence, that “our system is broken” and “Amazon took full advantage of that.” He then declared that “we will be calling on the labor board to hold Amazon accountable for its illegal and egregious behavior during the campaign.”
Both sides engaged in aggressive campaign tactics prior to the vote. Amazon posted numerous anti-union signs all over the warehouse, and even held lectures explaining the downsides of joining a union, while pro-union campaigners engaged in phone-banking and in-person campaigning with workers leaving the warehouse after their shifts.
The Bessemer campaign is only the second time ever that a group of Amazon employees have voted on the issue of unionization; the first, in 2014, saw an Amazon warehouse in Delaware reject the chance to form a union.