Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com Inc. Report employees at an Alabama warehouse will vote by mail in February and March whether on whether join a union, the National Labor Relations Board ruled on Friday.
About 6,000 workers at the Bessemer, Ala., facility, 15 miles southwest of Birmingham, will choose whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.
The election will take place by mail because of the covid pandemic. Ballots will be mailed to staffers Feb. 8 and must be received by the NLRB by March 29.
During the pandemic Amazon workers at several fulfillment centers have complained that safety procedures have been inadequate. Amazon has said it’s ensuring a safe workplace.
Amazon wanted an in-person vote, even though covid is raging in Alabama. The NLRB ruled against it.
“Having considered the parties’ positions and the entire record, … I have directed a mail ballot election because this is the safest and most appropriate method of conducting an election in view of the extraordinary circumstances presented by the Covid-19 pandemic,” wrote NLRB Acting Regional Director Lisa Henderson.
Amazon shares recently traded near $3,111, down 0.5%. They have soared 67% over the past year, as the Seattle tech and online-retail colossus has won a lot of business during the pandemic.
Morningstar analyst Zain Akbari puts fair value for Amazon shares at $3,630.
“Amazon's disruption of the retail industry is well documented, but it continues to find ways to evolve," he wrote in a commentary last month.
"Its operational efficiency, network effect, and a brand intangible asset give its marketplaces sustainable competitive advantages that few, if any, traditional retailers can match.”