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Employees at an Amazon plant in Alabama will have another chance to become the e-commerce giant’s first warehouse workers to unionize.
Dates have been set for a resumption of the controversial battle for a union in the establishment of Bessemer, a south-western suburb of Birmingham in the state’s most populous Jefferson County. Mail-in ballots will be mailed to employees on February 4 and the counting of returned votes will begin on March 28.
The result of the previous ballot, comfortably won by Amazon, 1,798 votes to 738, was rejected for criminal act. Specifically, Amazon was found by the National Labor Relations Board to have acted illegally when it installed a mailbox outside the establishment’s entrance, a move that risked influencing workers’ decisions. .
For the replay, Amazon requested an in-person vote on site. The Wholesale Retailers and Department Stores Union (RWDSU) instead suggested an in-person vote at a nearby civic center. However, citing concerns related to Covid-19, the NLRB said the vote would again be taken by mail.
The NLRB ordered that the disputed mailbox be moved to a “neutral” section of the Amazon facility.
“No party shall erect an awning, tent, banner, sign or any other object on, on, around or in sight of the mailbox,” wrote Lisa Henderson, regional director of the NLRB. “Neither party should issue any directive, suggestion or other statement to voters regarding the use of the mailbox for the purposes of this election. “
To win, the union needs a simple majority of the returned votes. It would be the first unionized Amazon factory in the United States.
The RWDSU said the NLRB’s advice did not fully address its concerns about tampering. “We are deeply concerned that the decision does not adequately prevent Amazon from continuing its reprehensible behavior in a new election,” he said.
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.