Alabama Amazon Workers Vote Against Unionizing

Author: Robert S. Teachout, XpertHR Legal Editor

April 9, 2021

Employees at Amazon's Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse have overwhelming rejected union representation. By a vote of 1,798 to 738, workers in the distribution center voted against joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) following a highly watched organizing effort.

Unions had hoped that a victory at Amazon could inspire other workplaces to organize. This defeat throws cold water on those efforts.

3,117 of the Amazon employees cast ballots in the election, 53 percent of all those who were eligible to vote. Approximately 500 challenged ballots still need to be reviewed and counted, but there are not enough votes to be won to change the outcome of the months-long election.

The vote took place after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) denied Amazon's request to block an order to conduct the union election using mail-in ballots. Ballots for the Amazon warehouse representation election were mailed to more than 5,800 employees shortly after the Board denied Amazon's motion. The election ran through March 29.

The RDWSU immediately stated that it will file a challenge to the results, claiming that Amazon illegally interfered with the election, and calling for a complete investigation of Amazon's anti-union campaign.

"Amazon has left no stone unturned in its efforts to gaslight its own employees," said Stuart Appelbaum, RDWSU President, in a statement. "Amazon knew full well that unless they did everything they possibly could, even illegal activity, their workers would have continued supporting the union."