The Amazon Union vote in Alabama is now in favor of the opposition

Union supporters are pushing opponents into the union election at the Amazon warehouse in Alabama, the National Labor Relations Board said on Thursday. But the count was much closer than the vote at the same warehouse last year, when the labor unions rejected more than a 2 to 1 ratio.

The union didn’t have 993 votes, compared to 875 yes votes, but more than 400 challenged ballots are potentially enough to affect the outcome. In the coming weeks, the Labor Board will resolve the challenge.

In total, approximately 2,300,6,100 eligible employees voted in the election in Bessemer, Alabama.

The Labor Board mandated the Revit, which was carried out by mail from the beginning of February to the end of March, after reaching the conclusion that the Amazon was in a state of so-called laboratory conditions that must prevail during the union election.

“Regardless of the final results, the workers here have shown what is possible,” said Stuart Applebaum, president of retail, wholesale and department store unions, which sought to regulate workers. “They have helped to brighten a movement.”

Speaking at a video conference with reporters after the counting of votes, Mr. Epplebam said the organization had helped spark union campaigns in other companies, such as REI and Starbucks, and other parts of the country at Bessemer.

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

The Labor Board is also counting votes in another high-profile election at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island. By the end of the first day of counting on Thursday, 57 percent of the vote was supported by the Amazon Labor Union, and 43 percent opposed. The NLRB said the count should end Friday.

Workers who supported the union in Bessemer cited frustration over low pay, inadequate dedication and overly aggressive production targets. Amazon said its pay – only $ 16 per hour for full-time, entry-level workers – is competitive for the region. It also refers to a profit package that says it’s attractive, including full health care benefits for full-time employees as they join the company. The company said its performance objectives reflect safety considerations and the experience of individual employees.

Many of the employees who supported the union said co-workers were generally less likely to question management or show union support this year than at last year’s election. “People are asking more questions,” Jennifer Bates, an employee who helped lead organizational efforts both last year and this year, said in an interview this month. “More employees are up and talking.”

The union also cited key differences in the approach to more recent elections. Last year, the union reduced its efforts to privately manage code-19 due to security concerns, but this time its administrators visited workers at home. Other unions sent organizers to Alabama to help with these efforts.

Workers also seemed to be more active in organizing within the plant. They wore union t-shirts to show support for working twice a week, and a group with more than 100 signatures made a request to managers complaining of inappropriate break and break room equipment.

Even so, Amazon retained benefits, not least of which was the high rate of employee turnover, which made it difficult for managers to keep pace as unskilled workers simply gave up their jobs.

The company also spends its efforts aggressively hiring employees to recruit unions, recruit consultants and hold more than 20 anti-union meetings with employees every day before the mail ballot opens in early February. In a Labor Department filing issued on Thursday, Amazon revealed that it spent more than $ 4 million last year on labor consultants. It’s still unclear how much he spent on mentors this year.

Supporters of the union accused Amazon of excluding them from meetings to silence criticism and pushback, but Amazon denied the allegations.

The tally announced on Thursday corresponds to a broad trend in re-election, with more than half of the unions increasing since 2010.

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