Greetings from the Burgh, where we’re watching a live stream of the union vote at Amazon in Alabama.
‘No’ Votes Are Leading in Early Count Nearly 2 to 1
We’ve been watching a live stream of the NLRB vote count nearly all day.
As of 6:00 PM EST, the “No” votes are leading by a margin of 392 to 899 with 3,215 ballots cast out of 5,800 possible ballots.
If this nearly 2-to-1 pattern holds, as it has throughout counting, then the union will be defeated.
Amazon Threw Out Hundreds of Ballots
After more than a week of scrutinizing ballots and signatures, Amazon was able to successfully throw out hundreds of ballots, possibly padding its current lead.
“There remain hundreds of challenged ballots mostly by the employer that will need to be addressed after the public count,” the RWDSU said in a statement today. “As the ballot envelopes are opened and the ballots are counted there’s a possibility that more issues could impact the final results.”
FOIA: Amazon Pressured Postal Service to Put Postal Box In Front of Amazon Entrance
Whatever may occur in the union vote today, RWDSU has already indicated they plan to challenge the union vote for a variety of illegal intimidation tactics.
New FOIA documents released by The Washington Post show Amazon pressured the U.S. Postal Service to install a mailbox directly in front of the warehouse entrance.
“We have not heard anything back on the install of this collection box,” a postal service account manager wrote to Alabama colleagues on Jan. 14 in an email obtained via FOIA by The Washington Post. “Amazon is reaching out again to me today about the status as they wanted to move quickly on this.”
RWDSU contends that managers would routinely encourage workers to fill out their ballots and cast them directly in front of them.
The union has alleged that this is illegal intimidation and will likely appeal any vote to the National Labor Relations Board.
Amazon Workers in Chicago Stage Wildcat Strike
While the workers at Amazon in Alabama appear headed for defeat, they may have inspired a movement nationwide.
Yesterday, non-union workers at an Amazon warehouse in Chicago staged a walkout to demand better conditions.
“I’m done with just accepting what the company does. I know my heart is telling me to take action. I’m willing to lead and be that example,” said Rakyle Johnson, a sorter, discussing the decision to walk off the job.
An Amazon associate, Bekim Mehmedi, said the online retailer hasn’t addressed staffing shortages, creating an intense workplace atmosphere that has led to injuries. He said some workers hired seasonally were not kept on full time as some had been promised. Longer shifts have been hard for workers who must allow for child care, Mehmedi said.
Amazon Vote Will Likely Set Up Fight for the PRO Act.
Last month, Democrats in the House passed the PRO Act, which would revise labor law in a variety of ways to make union organizing easier.
The PRO Act, among other things, would ban captive audience meetings and increase fines on employers who break the law.
With the world watching the Amazon vote, many are disgusted with the ability of these anti-union tactics to work successfully. It’s led many to believe that a defeat of the union drive at Amazon could create momentum for labor law reform.
Alright folks, that’s all for now. Follow me on Twitter @MikeElk for frequent updates on the Amazon union vote.
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Love & Solidarity,