The largest union drive in the history of Amazon has ended with the company on top. After a months-long battle, 738 workers at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse voted to unionize, and 1,798 voted no.
Ballots from another 505 workers were challenged, mostly by Amazon. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union that led the drive says Amazon illegally interfered in the vote, and it plans to file unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board. Amazon, which is led by the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, spent millions to defeat the closely watched election, and even got a private mailbox installed at the warehouse so it could pressure workers to mail their ballots from work and monitor votes.
“It’s important that people don’t misread the results of this election,” says Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.
“People were not saying that they were satisfied with Amazon’s working conditions in any way. They were saying that they were afraid to vote for the union.”
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