Amazon is attempting to force workers planning to unionize at an Alabama warehouse to vote in person, rather than by mail, as it fights a landmark attempt by its staff to organize.
The company is appealing against a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to permit 5,800 employees at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, to begin casting ballots by mail to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.
The NLRB, the federal agency responsible for enforcing US labor law, favors manual elections but has moved to supporting mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic. Between March and November 2020, 90% of union election representation cases presided by the NLRB were conducted by mail rather than in-person.
On Monday the state said there have been 350,988 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Alabama since March and 6,662 confirmed deaths.
The appeal was filed on 21 January by attorneys representing Amazon, who argue that a mail-in ballot election would take too long and involve too many resources. They have requested that the board postpone the election until the NLRB reviews Amazon’s appeals.
The NLRB is currently scheduled to begin mailing out ballots for the election on Feb. 8. The union filed their initial petition requesting a union election on Nov. 20. If successful, Amazon workers at the BHM1 warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama would be the company’s first warehouse in the United States to unionize.
In November 2020, after Joe Biden was declared “President-elect” by the mainstream media, Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon, posted on his Instagram declaring that “by voting in record numbers, the American people proved again that our democracy is strong.”
Despite supporting mail-in ballots for the Presidential election, Jeff Bezos has stated that the “best approach to a valid, fair and successful election is one that is conducted manually, in-person, making it easy for associates to verify and cast their vote in close proximity to their workplace.”
Amazon now claims that mail-in voting has “serious and systemic flaws”. The very liberal-leaning Washington Post, which also is owned by Bezos, has repeatedly dismissed Donald Trump’s claims which argue the same points about the faulty and “easily susceptible to fraud” mail-in ballots during an election. In fact, Bezos and the Washington Post declared that mail-in election flaws alleged by the former President were a complete myth and debunked the “theory” in many articles.