Jay Reeves / AP
Manual vote counting will continue on Friday in prof High-profile, high-stakes elections This will determine whether Amazon workers in Alabama form the company’s first union warehouse in the United States
At the end of Thursday, more than two-thirds of the counted votes were against the unions, with no votes exceeding 1,100 to 463 in favor.
A total of 3,215 ballots were cast by Amazon workers about whether they want to join the retail, wholesale, and department store consortium. This represents about 55% of all warehouse workers in Bismere, Alabama, who were eligible to vote.
According to the union, Amazon has stabbed hundreds of ballots. This means that they are not included in the current tally, but they may play a large role if the score is close enough to these cards to influence the score. The legal process for the National Labor Relations Board to decide whether to count contested votes may take weeks or not.
Regardless of the outcome, the losing side was expected to challenge the election and potentially seek to reverse the outcome.
The federation, for example, has raised concerns about the Amazon’s actions to influence voting. One of those actions was by Amazon Pay to install USPS mailbox Right outside the warehouse, which the union argues has distorted the vote. The union also argues that the mailbox conflicts with NLRB’s decision that rejected Amazon’s request to place ballot boxes in the repository for a personal vote.
“Our system is broken, Amazon has taken full advantage of that, and we will call on the Labor Council to hold Amazon accountable for its illegal and scandalous behavior during the campaign,” union leader Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement Thursday evening. “But make no mistake about it; this is still an important moment for the workers and their voices will be heard.”
Amazon did not immediately respond on Thursday, but in the past the company has argued that the union does not represent the majority of its workers’ opinions and promotes its wages and benefits. Regarding the mailbox, Amazon said USPS installed it for workers’ convenience, while Amazon’s tent around it made the vote “comfortable, safe, and private.”
A few NLRB agents manually schedule anonymous ballots, call out each vote and place green slips in plastic boxes with handwritten markings for “yes,” “no,” “void,” and “challenge.” The action is broadcast online to Amazon representatives, the union, pre-registered members of the media, and the general public.
Why is this union vote so watched? Here are some general glimpses of what is at stake:
Editor’s note: Amazon is among NPR’s new financial backers.