More than 3,200 Amazon.com Inc. workers in an Alabama warehouse voted on the possibility of unionizing and initial results should be announced in the next few days. The Retail, Wholesale and Large Stores Union said Wednesday night that 3,215, or 55%, of the roughly 5,800 workers at the Bessemer, Alabama warehouse cast their votes.
The public portion of the vote count is expected to be released Thursday or Friday, the union said. Voting ended on March 29, and vote counting began last week. The union said management contested hundreds of ballots, which could delay election results in the event of a close race. The challenges will be resolved by the National Labor Relations Board. Even if the union wins, it could take years of negotiations to reach an initial contract, and the process could be further delayed if Amazon challenges the election results. Workers are demanding higher wages and better working conditions. The vote has a lot at stake: Organizers hope that a victory will spark more organizing drives across the country, and not just on Amazon. Meanwhile, Amazon, the nation’s second-largest private employer, worries that higher union wages could affect its bottom line. Amazon racked up $ 21.3 billion in profit in 2020. Amazon AMZN shares, + 1.72% are roughly the same year-to-date, but are up 61% over the past year.