Amazon workers in Alabama are preparing to vote on whether not to become the company’s first unionized facility in the United States. Ballots are being sent out today to 5,800 warehouse workers to decide if they will join the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union.
NPR reports that Amazon workers in an Alabama suburb will decide if a warehouse in the area becomes the company’s first unionized facility in the United States. Ballots will be sent out on Monday to over 5,800 workers at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, near Birmingham, asking them if they want to join the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union.
The election will run through March 29 and marks the first Amazon warehouse union vote since a group of Amazon technicians in Delaware voted not to unionize in 2014. The mail-in vote also comes just days after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) shut down Amazon’s attempts to delay the union election.
Amazon had petitioned for a postponement of the vote arguing that the vote — which is being conducted by mail to minimize coronavirus spread — should be done in person.
Amazon declined to comment on the appeal at the time but stated that it believes the best approach to an election would be having it conducted in person, stating that it “provided the NLRB with a safe, confidential and convenient proposal for associates to vote on-site, which is in the best interest of all parties—associate convenience, vote fidelity and timeliness of vote count.”
When workers notified the NLRB of their plans to vote on unionization in November, an Amazon spokesperson stated: “Our employees choose to work at Amazon because we offer some of the best jobs available everywhere we hire, and we encourage anyone to compare our overall pay, benefits, and workplace environment to any other company with similar jobs.”
Breitbart News recently reported that many workers at Amazon warehouses were being forced into overnight “megacycle” shifts in recent months that many were unhappy with.
Megacycle shifts combine shorter shifts into one 10-hour shift beginning around 1:00 a.m. and ending close to noon. The term megacycle is used by managers and workers to describe 10-hour graveyard shifts according to workers.
An Amazon spokesperson stated that more than half of its last-mile delivery network has already transitioned to these new shifts. Previously, workers at facilities such as DCH1 were offered multiple shift options including an eight-hour overnight shift ending at 4:45 am, a five-hour morning shift, and a four-hour morning shift.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address email@example.com