Amazon union vote in Alabama puts organized labor in historical spotlight



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The vote on whether or not to unionize workers at an Amazon Alabama facility ended on Monday amid the company’s feud with politicians over the issue, which has scale implications national for trade unions.

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Voting at the Bessemer warehouse began in early February despite objections from the company, including a push for in-person voting. Although the tally is expected to take place on Tuesday, the results could be delayed, with both sides leveling out the type of complaints seen in the 2020 presidential election.

According to the Washington Post, the company and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Stores Union, which represents Amazon’s 5,800 workers in the warehouse, could challenge the results with the National Relations Board. labor or in court.

The challenges could include things like whether a ballot was signed correctly or whether it is real.

The findings are expected to have potentially wide implications for work as Alabama is a state with the right to work and the nation’s leading online retailer has come under fire for its alleged poor working conditions. Employees and politicians have claimed, among other things, that Amazon creates an oppressive work environment that requires them to urinate in bottles.

AMAZON UNION PUSH GIVES THE GIANT RETAILER A TASTE OF HIS OWN PROGRESSIVE MEDICINE

Besides higher pay, they want Amazon to give warehouse workers more break time and be treated with respect. Many complain about their grueling 10-hour workdays with just two 30-minute breaks. The workers are on their feet most of the time, packing boxes, laying out products or unpacking goods that arrive in trucks.

Amazon has been vigorous in its defense, both lashing out at progressive members of Congress in response to criticism and holding mandatory meetings on why the union is a bad idea.

He argues that the Bessemer warehouse has created thousands of jobs with an average wage of $ 15.30 an hour – more than double the minimum wage in Alabama. Workers also get social benefits, including health, vision and dental care, without paying union dues, the company said.

Last week, the online retailer got into a fight with Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin. [and] make workers urinate in water bottles. “

Pocan tweeted in reference to a number of reports from 2018 and 2019 detailing worker complaints and investigators’ findings that employees urinated in water bottles to save time.

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“You don’t really believe in the wee in bottles thing, do you?” Amazon tweeted in response. “If this were true, no one would work for us. The truth is, we have over a million amazing employees around the world who take pride in what they do and enjoy great pay and healthcare. since the first day.”

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A number of reporters who looked into allegations of poor working conditions at Amazon shared evidence that employees complained about peeing in water bottles or not having enough time to use the bathroom. bath.

The company has also targeted the senses. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., And Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Both of whom are longtime critics of the company.

Audrey Conklin of The Associated Press and Fox Business contributed to this report.

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