Alabama

Amazon Workers Defeat Union Drive at Alabama Warehouse


The lopsided outcome at the 6,000-person warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., dealt a crushing blow to labor organizers, Democrats and their allies at a time when conditions have been ripe for unions to make advances.


The pandemic, which drove millions of people to shop online, also spotlighted the plight of essential workers and raised questions about Amazon’s ability to keep those employees safe .


The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which led the drive, blamed its defeat on what it said were Amazon’s anti-union tactics before and during the voting, which was conducted from early February through the end of last month.


The repeated failures at two huge companies may push labor organizers to focus more on backing national policies, such as a higher federal minimum wage, than unionizing individual workplaces.


“Workers cannot organize to scale in America absent labor law reform, full stop,” Representative Andy Levin of Michigan, who had visited Bessemer, said in an interview.


Some labor experts said the erosion of that early support showed the power that employers have in campaigning against unions by holding mandatory meetings and talking to employees during work hours about the downside of organizing.






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