In Alabama, act 2 of the union push by Amazon employees will be played out

Employees at Amazon’s BHM1 plant in Alabama will once again speak out on the creation of a union. The first campaign had been stormy.

In Bessemer, Alabama, the employees of a huge Amazon logistics center will be called upon to vote once again for or against the creation of a union representing them, a year after a very controversial first election. The ballot will be opened on February 4 and all the votes must reach the organizer before March 25, the counting of the ballots provided by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to begin on March 28.

After the first vote, the majority of employees voted against the creation of a union, but the election was invalidated for breach of the labor code. In addition to the many low blows inflicted by Amazon on pro-union activists as part of the campaign, the installation of a supervised mailbox for the collection of ballots has been recognized as illegal. An employer cannot in fact “Hinder the exercise by employees of a free and motivated choice”. Similarly, the regular poll of the opinion of employees during mandatory information meetings is not acceptable in the eyes of the regulator attesting to the validity of union elections.

Various requests on the voting process

Unsurprisingly, this new election will be organized and closely monitored by the NLRB. However, the labor organization behind the campaign on Bessemer’s Amazon BHM1 site, RWDSU, says it has made many proposals to make the process fairer for workers, most of which were dismissed by the NLRB.

The union would like, in the first place, for the ballot to be held in a place outside the factory where no control could be exercised on the part of Amazon. For its part, the e-tailer has planned to install an air-conditioned tent in a parking lot where employees would go to vote. The NLRB, for its part, specifies that the wave of Covid-19 sweeping the United States is encouraging the holding of a ballot by mail, which the RWDSU fears, citing a risk of fraud.

Amazon has also conceded several adjustments to its rules for this new election: the information documents concerning the vote and the creation of a union will this time be well displayed in the company and each employee will be given a specific time to go to the polls. See you in March to see if these adjustments will change anything after the vote.

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