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Amazon workers at Alabama’s warehouse are the first U.S. to become one of America’s largest employers. Coming closer to voting on whether to form a union – a groundbreaking prospect closely watched by the company’s ballooning staff.
Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union Watching To represent the hundreds of employees at the Amazon facility in Bessemer, Ala, this week, federal labor officials Gave a green light To hold elections on whether to form a union for the workers.
The National Labor Relations Board will hold a hearing on Friday on how and when the federal vote could take place. The hearing will also address a dispute between Bessemer workers and a potential bargaining unit size over the company.
Most of Amazon’s employees in Europe are represented by unions, but the company has so far successfully fought labor planning efforts in the United States.
A unification application is usually required At least 30% Workers say they will sign the paper they want the union to. The Alabama workers’ petition said the union would represent 1,500 workers. Amazon argues that the Bessemer warehouse employs more than 5,000,000 people, indicating that there is insufficient support in the application.
However, the labor union is administratively satisfied that enough interest is being shown to continue the case, said Terry D.Combe, assistant director of the NLRB’s Atlanta region regional director.
Amazon, is known for it Opposition to unification, Said applicants did not represent “the majority of our employees’ opinions ”and focused on the facility’s average salary of 15 15.30, benefits and“ long-term career growth ”.
The company Has said Between March and mid-September, it employed about 1.4 million front-line workers across Amazon and Whole Foods in the United States.
The last time Amazon workers came close to joining the union was in 2014, when a small group of maintenance and repair technicians at the Delaware Warehouse held elections but eventually Voted against Joining the International Organization of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Alabama workers’ application is not a list of specific complaints, but a union-backed website Calls for change For disciplinary, firing and safety proceedings.
The website says, “Nineteen workers have died at Amazon facilities. We have faced abusive work quotas that have left many with illness and lifelong injuries.” “With the union’s agreement, we can form a worker safety committee, and negotiate the highest safety standards and protocols for our workplace.”
Amazon representatives argued that the company “has some of the best jobs available where we hire” and most workers at the Besmer warehouse say they would recommend Amazon as a good place for their friends to work.
A union spokesman declined to comment. In Alabama, RWDSU already represents workers in the poultry, healthcare and other industries. The union was also among the majority Voice critics The New York Bureau pushes Amazon for a second headquarters in Queens.
Editor’s note: Amazon is among the financial backers of NPR.
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