The counting of votes cast by Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report workers at an Alabama warehouse on whether to unionize could begin Thursday after 55% of workers mailed in their ballots to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.
The RWDSU said late Wednesday that 3,215, or 55%, of the roughly 5,800 workers at the Bessemer, Ala., warehouse cast ballots. The public portion of the vote count is expected to be released Thursday or Friday, the union said.
Voting ended March 29, and vote-counting began last week. The union said hundreds of ballots were challenged “mostly by the employer,” which could delay the election results in the case of a tight race. Challenges would be resolved by the National Labor Relations Board.
Amazon consistently has 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 pandemic.
If the vote succeeds, the warehouse employees in Alabama would become the first of Amazon's 800,000 U.S. employees to unionize. Still, even if the union wins, it could take years of bargaining to reach an initial contract.
At last check, Amazon shares were up 1.01% at $3,312.59. The stock is roughly flat year to date, though up 61% over the past 12 months.