January 15, 2021
By Jeffrey Dastin
(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc’s first U.S. union election since 2014 is scheduled to begin with the mailing of ballots in early February and a vote count starting March 30, a U.S. labor board official said in a filing on Friday.
The announcement brings employees at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama a step closer to deciding whether to join part of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). A “yes” vote would mark the first ever for a U.S. Amazon facility.
As of Jan. 7, Amazon employed almost 6,200 hourly workers at the warehouse, according to the filing. To win, the union needs a simple majority of those who submit ballots in the election.
While Amazon had preferred in-person voting, the labor board sided with the union on a mail-in procedure “because this is the safest and most appropriate method of conducting an election in view of the extraordinary circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the filing said.
Amazon did not immediately answer a request for comment. The RWDSU declined to comment.
(Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)