Amazon Union Vote Results Expected in Coming Days

It’s been a long and bitter battle, but the campaigns appear to be over over the Amazon union vote. This according to the labor secretary.

It’s been a long road to get here for Amazon employees in an Amazon warehouse. The vote is on whether or not Amazon employees in one warehouse can be part of a union. The battle has been bitter and even pulled in elected officials along the way. The bitter battle exposed controversies such as poor working conditions, high turnover, and a pile of other issues. Amazon, for it’s part, is actively discouraging unionization, arguing that Amazon employees really have it great with $15 an hour wages (a wage that is barely keeping up with minimum wage in Canada and arguably not a livable wage). Observers say that Amazon’s aggressive tactics to discourage unionization means that the company is worried that employees might actually unionize.

Still, sources kept saying that the vote was this week. It is now Saturday, so is there any word on the results? As it turns out, the answer is “no”, but we aren’t that far off from the results according to the labor secretary. From Yahoo!:

In a new interview with Yahoo Finance, U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh suggested the results of a historic union vote at an Amazon (AMZN) warehouse in Alabama are imminent. He also objected in general terms to anti-union “intimidation” amid concerns over a campaign waged by Amazon to dissuade workers from supporting the organizing drive.

“The Amazon situation — we’re going to see what the result of the vote is in the next few days,” Walsh says.

Vote-tallying by the National Labor Relations Board began on Tuesday but observers expected a protracted process since both sides — the Retail, Wholesale, Department Store Union (RWDSU) and Amazon — could exercise their right to challenge each of the thousands of votes based on eligibility or procedural concerns.

Nearly 6,000 workers at the facility in Bessemer, Alabama, were eligible to vote in the election, which pitted the nation’s second-largest private sector employer against labor advocates eager to reverse decades of union decline and gain a foothold in the growing tech sector. Mail-in voting began in early February and concluded on Monday.

So, it appears we are going to continue waiting for the results for now. A lot is, after all, riding on this question of whether employees of a big tech company can unionize. It could mean that the union movement is finally getting a second wind in the increasingly anti-union environment of the US. It’ll also mark a new frontier for unionization as this is a big tech company where employees are considering unionization. So, we’ll continue to wait for the results so we can start analyzing where things could head next for those employed in large tech companies.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.



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