The unionization votes are now in the hands of the National Labor Relations Board and the two factions have completed their challenges to individual ballots in the year-long battle to organize nearly 6,000 Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Ala.
The next two days are going to determine which of the two sides has the upper hand: Amazon, which aggressively opposed unionization in the Alabama fulfillment center, or the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union, which has been trying to convince the plant’s workers to form the retail company’s first unionized employee group.
On Tuesday at the NLRB office in Birmingham, Ala., the challenged ballots — those that either side protested — were set aside. The number of challenged ballots was estimated at 10% of the overall number of votes cast. (The total number of votes will remain a secret until the final tally on Thursday.)
The challenged votes will only be counted by the NLRB if the election outcome can be changed by counting them. In other words, if there is not enough to flip the election, they will remain sealed.
On Wednesday, the NLRB election workers will separate the validated ballots, the remaining 90%, from their envelopes. The ballots arrived in yellow envelopes containing blue ballot envelopes. The two are placed in separate piles. The blue ballots will be counted on camera in an election broadcast on video, tentatively scheduled for Thursday.
NLRB officials separate the two so that during the broadcast of the tally — the votes are held up to the camera one-by-one — the employee identification from the yellow envelope can’t be seen. This is to protect employees who fear reprisals based on their votes, according to the NLRB.
When final votes are counted, NLRB officials will announce the result, perhaps late Thursday. If the differential is within the number of challenged ballots, a final result will be delayed until the labor board can rule on the challenged ballots. If not, a winner will be declared.
However, both sides will retain opportunities to appeal to the overall election process, a step that could eventually reach federal court and leave the election undetermined for a while.
We’ll celebrate the Pacific Northwest’s leading innovators, entrepreneurs and technologists at one of the most anticipated tech events: The GeekWire Awards, presented by Wave Business. We’ll crown the winners from the virtual stage in over a dozen categories, based in part on community voting.
Amazon worker union leader on Alabama vote: ‘This has breathed new life into the labor movement’
Republican Senator Marco Rubio unleashes blistering attack on Amazon, says he stands with union effort and criticizes company’s ‘woke’ culture
Bill Gates says there are too many low-quality SPACs, but he’s firmly focused on the quality ones
Why this Seattle tech CEO pulled his company out of downtown, and isn’t returning anytime soon
27 years after death of Kurt Cobain, group uses AI software to create a ‘new’ Nirvana song
News – Amazon union vote: Here’s how the ballots will be counted this week