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Amazon Union Vote in Alabama Gathers 3,215 Ballots

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Vote counting is set to start in high-profile unionization bid at Amazon facility in Alabama

The ballots in the union drive at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., are expected to be counted by hand starting either Thursday afternoon or Friday morning.
The ballots in the union drive at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., are expected to be counted by hand starting either Thursday afternoon or Friday morning.Credit…Charity Rachelle for The New York Times
  • April 8, 2021, 7:13 a.m. ET

The union seeking to represent workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama said late Wednesday that there were 3,215 ballots cast — or about 55 percent of the roughly 5,800 workers who were eligible to vote.

The ballots will be counted by hand starting Thursday afternoon in the National Labor Relations Board’s office in Birmingham, according to the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union. Hundreds of ballots are being contested, mostly by Amazon, the union said.

Unofficial Tally of Amazon Warehouse Unionization Votes

1,608 yes votes are needed for the union to win today.

Yes

0

No

0

The New York Times.Hundreds of ballots have been contested, which could delay either side from reaching the threshold.

The vote counting will be shown on a videoconference call to a small number of outsiders, including journalists, in addition to representatives from the union and the company.

Union elections are typically held in person, but the labor board determined that the election should be conducted by mail to minimize risks during the pandemic. The ballots were sent to workers in early February and were due at the agency before March 30. Since then, Amazon and the union have had a chance to challenge whether particular workers were eligible to vote.

When the public counting is done, the agency will announce the formal results if the margin of victory for one side is greater than the number of contested ballots.

If the margin is narrower, then it could take two to three weeks for the N.L.R.B. to hold a hearing to sort through the contested ballots and take evidence from both sides on whether they should be counted.

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