Amazon Alabama Warehouse Concluding Union Vote

A Bessemer, Ala., Amazon warehouse on Monday is concluding a worker vote on whether to unionize. The vote count could take awhile.
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Amazon's  (AMZN) - Get Report warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., on Monday is in its final day of voting on whether it will unionize.

The warehouse's more than 5,800 workers have been voting by mail since February to decide whether they will join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

If they vote to unionize, the plant will be the Seattle tech and online-retail giant's first in the U.S. to form a union.

Counting of the ballots is set to begin on Tuesday at 10 a.m. local time at a National Labor Relations Board office in Birmingham, Ala. Both Amazon and the RWDU will be able to virtually observe the tallying, The Washington Post reported.

The Bessemer plant is one of the larger warehouses in the country, which is what has brought attention to its decision to fight for unionization.

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But all involved expect the election will not be as simple as voting and tallying, and they are prepared for a final count to take days, weeks, or months to determine.

Experts note that Amazon could contest from the beginning, on “whether a ballot was properly signed, whether it’s real or even if the worker who cast it is legitimate,” The Washington Post reported.

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Amazon has consistently argued that its treatment of employees is more than fair, with staff receiving $15.30 an hour in salary plus healthcare, vision and dental benefits and a retirement plan.

Workers at the plant argue that they are overworked in unsafe work environments. They took issue when Amazon ended its hazard-pay bonus, which gave workers an extra $2 an hour for working during the coronavirus pandemic. 

And the union has taken a civil-rights perspective -- a fight for dignity -- to the unionization drive since many of the employees are black, the Post reports.

The union drive has received support from President Joe Biden and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida). Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) have also cited unfair treatment of workers, among a list of grievances against Amazon. 

Critics of the company have also said it doesn't pay enough in taxes.

At last check Amazon shares were trading little changed at $3,054.