55% of Amazon employees voted in the Alabama warehouse

More than 3,200 employees of Amazon.com Inc. voted in a warehouse in Alabama on whether or not to unite a union, and the first results should be announced in the coming days.

The retail, wholesale and department stores union said late on Wednesday that 3,215 of the 55% or so workers in the warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., Will vote.

The public portion of the vote is expected to be released Thursday or Friday, the union said.

Voting ended on March 29 and vote counting started last week. The union said hundreds of ballots were being challenged by management, which could delay election results in the event of a tight race. Challenges would be resolved by the National Labor Relations Board.

Even if the union wins, it could take years of negotiation to reach a first contract, and the process could be further delayed if Amazon disputes the election results.

Employees demand higher wages and better working conditions.

The mood is high – organizers hope a victory will lead to more union action across the country, and not just Amazon. Meanwhile, Amazon, the country’s second-largest private employer, is concerned that higher union wages could hurt bottom-line earnings. Amazon made $ 21.3 billion in profits in 2020.

Amazon shares AMZN,
+ 1.72%
are about the same year so far, but up 61% from last year.