Amazon.com Inc. employees in Alabama voted not to unionize, according to a Wall Street Journal tally, handing the tech giant a victory in its biggest battle to date against labor-organizing efforts after the contest fueled national debate over working conditions at one of the nation's largest employers.
With 72% of ballots counted, about 71% of the Bessemer, Ala., warehouse workers voted against joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, according to a Wall Street Journal tally of votes. The number of votes against a union exceeds 1608, the total needed to reach a majority of the 3,215 mail-in ballots sent in by workers. The National Labor Relations Board continues to count the votes live on a broadcast and hasn't yet declared an official winner.
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Each side has about a week to contest results before the NLRB certifies the outcome, and the union is expected to appeal the vote and accuse Amazon of violating legal restrictions governing unionization campaigns. Amazon has said it followed the law in its communication with employees before and during the election.
The Bessemer facility employs fewer than 1% of the roughly 950,000 Amazon employees in the U.S., but the vote emerged as a watershed moment for a company that hired at a faster pace than almost any private corporation in history last year.