News Release

Amazon Union Vote

MIKE ELK, mike.elk@gmail.com@MikeElk
Elk is senior labor reporter for PaydayReport.com. His latest piece is “Anti-Union Amazon Workers Explain How Mandatory Anti-Union Meetings Turned Them Against RWDSU [Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union].”

He said today: “As the union is trailing nearly 2-to-1 with almost half of the vote in, it appears likely that the union drive at Amazon in Alabama will be defeated.

“In our interviews with workers, we discovered that most workers weren’t so heavily anti-union as much as they just didn’t know anything about unions.

“This union failed to form a strong organizing committee that had a real plan to show how the union worked prior to the election. To win union elections, the election feels like more formality since the organizing committee has already been acting as a union, winning campaigns in the workplace to change things and standing up for co-workers facing unfair discipline.

“When the union election comes, workers already feel like they know the union and are a part of it. Instead, what happened at Amazon was that workers knew little; this allowed the company through anti-union meetings to create a fear of the change that unions could bring — from warning workers that their wages may actually decrease under a contract, or worse, the facility closes.

“Within 24 hours of the defeat of the union at Amazon appearing likely, non-union workers at Amazon went on a wildcat strike in Chicago. So while it may appear that workers at Amazon were defeated, they are still on the march as the strike in Chicago shows.

“Winning union elections is tough, but the key to winning them is to invest heavily in training workers in how to organize and mobilize workers before they even have a union. Otherwise, unions will never win these union votes because workers won’t feel already like they’re part of the union.”