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Amazon has won a victory in its hard-fought campaign to stop workers at an Alabama warehouse forming the company’s first union, in a tough blow for the US labor movement.
Workers at the Bessemer, Alabama, plant have voted 1,798 to 738 so far to reject the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Counting concluded on Friday morning, and would next focus on adding up challenges and voided ballots, but the margin of victory may be too much to change the outcome.
The union immediately said it would launch a legal challenge to the result, which is likely to look at the high number of contested ballots and union allegations of unfair tactics during the campaign. Amazon shares rose 0.8% on Friday, adding to earlier gains.
The fight to form a union in the warehouse in Bessemer, a suburb north of Birmingham, we eagerly watched by America’s labor movement as one of its most important battles in recent history. Some 5,800 workers were eligible to vote on whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) as the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the US.
In a statement, the RWDSU president, Stuart Appelbaum, said: “We won’t let Amazon’s lies, deception and illegal activities go unchallenged, which is why we are formally filing charges against all of the egregious and blatantly illegal actions taken by Amazon during the union vote.
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