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Amazon Workers in Alabama May Vote to Unionize: Reports

Amazon scheduled to face union vote at Alabama warehouse early next year.

Workers at an Amazon  (AMZN) - Get, Inc. Report warehouse in Alabama are expected to vote early next year on whether to join a labor union after the retail giant and the union agreed that temporary workers will be allowed to cast their votes, according to published reports Wednesday.

According to a report in The New York Times, Amazon workers will have the opportunity to vote on unionizing -- the first such vote since 2014, when warehouse workers in Delaware decided to not unionize.

Reuters reported that if workers do vote to unionize, it would be a first for a U.S. Amazon facility.

This week, Amazon and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union agreed on the potential size of the bargaining unit. But, according to reports, the company and the union have not yet agreed how the union vote will be held, with Amazon saying workers should not submit mail-in ballots. No election date has been set.

In November, the union submitted its petition to the National Labor Relations Board to hold the election, saying it had garnered sufficient support from workers who wanted to participate. 

Amazon reportedly employs about 5,700 or more workers at its Bessemer, Ala., facility. 

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Heather Knox, an Amazon spokesperson, said in a news statement, “We don’t believe this group represents the majority of our employees’ views." 

“Our employees choose to work at Amazon because we offer some of the best jobs available everywhere we hire, and we encourage anyone to compare our overall pay, benefits and workplace environment to any other company with similar jobs," she said.

The New York Times quotes a union representative as saying the organization's primary interest is in making sure the vote happens soon.

Amazon has said average pay at the warehouse is $15.30 an hour.

Similar efforts to unionize are being organized by workers at Amazon's subsidiary Whole Foods store in Portland and at another warehouse in New Jersey, according to Reuters.

Shares of Amazon fell 0.66% Wednesday to close at 3,185.27. In after-hours trade, shares edged up 0.15%.