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6,000 Amazon warehouse workers will hold union vote in Alabama on Feb. 8

Amazon fulfillment center manufactures.

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Amazon warehouse workers at an Alabama warehouse can begin voting by mail in early February on whether to cultivate a union, a National Labor Relations Board hearing officer ruled Friday.

The ruling kicks off what choice be a closely watched union vote at one of the nation’s largest employers. Unions have a stronger foothold among some of Amazon’s European workforce, but the band has largely manage to thwart organizing efforts in the U.S.

About 6,000 employees at the fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama make cast their ballots beginning on Feb. 8 to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Ballots requisite be received by the NLRB’s regional office by March 29, then the board will begin counting the ballots start at 10 a.m. CT on the following day.

The decision represents a blow to Amazon, which had pushed for the election to be held in person at the Bessemer ladies room, known as BHM1.

A RWDSU spokesperson declined to comment. Amazon didn’t respond to a request for comment. An Amazon spokesperson in the old days said the company doesn’t believe the RWDSU “represents the majority of our employees’ views.”

Last November, workers at the Alabama swiftness notified the NLRB of their plans to hold a vote on whether to be represented by the RWDSU. During a three-day hearing in December, Amazon and the weld ironed out details around which employees should be allowed to vote in the election, as well as the election setting.

Amazon in favour ofed for an in-person election, but the NLRB raised concerns that holding the election at the facility would require board delegates to travel into Jefferson County, which has a high Covid-positive rate.

Lisa Henderson, acting regional overseer for the NLRB, said in the decision that a mail ballot election will “protect the health and safety of voters, Action personnel, the parties’ representatives, and the public during the current health crisis.”

Amazon has set up a website to advertise its position on the Alabama supplies union drive, urging workers to “do it without dues,” referring to the cost of membership when joining a union.

“We’ve got you quilted with high wages, health care, vision, and dental benefits, as well as a safety committee and appeals deal with,” according to the website, which was first reported by The Washington Post. “There’s so much MORE you can do for your career and your brood without paying dues.”

Amazon hasn’t faced a substantial union vote since 2014, when renewal technicians at a Delaware warehouse failed to garner enough votes to form a union. However, since then, beefs tied to Prime Day and other events, as well as the coronavirus pandemic, have laid the groundwork for rising organizing creations among some parts of its workforce across the country.

Amazon spokeswoman Heather Knox told CNBC in a averral that the company maintains “the best approach to a valid, fair and successful election” is one that’s conducted in-person approach the Alabama facility.

“We will continue to insist on measures for a fair election, and we want everyone to vote, so our focus is certifying that’s possible,” Knox added.

A RWDSU spokesperson declined to comment.

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