Retail giant Amazon’s workforce at a warehouse in Alabama has received a go-ahead from the federal authorities to cast their vote for or against forming a union. If a union is formed, as is most probable, it would be the first one for the e-commerce company’s workforce in the United States.
Reports say that the federal labor agencies have permitted the workforce at Amazon’s Bessemer facility to conduct elections to decide on unionization.
On Friday, a hearing to chart out the proceedings of the election has been arranged by the National Labor Relations Board. This meeting will also look into the disagreement that the workers have had with the retailer regarding the bargaining unit’s size.
The Amazon workforce in Europe has unions to represent them, but in America, the company has so far been successful in keeping employees’ labor unionizing efforts at bay. Reports say that Amazon feels that the Bessemer facility does not fulfill the 30% workers’ signatures for the petition’s paperwork.
Amazon revealed that the petitioning workers were far from representing “the majority of our employees’ views” and advertised that the company paid its workers a per-hour average of $15.30, plus benefits as well as provided them “long-term career growth.”
On the other hand, the federal labor agency “is administratively satisfied that there is a sufficient showing of interest to continue processing the case,” said Terry D. Combs, NLRB’s Atlanta regional director’s assistant.
However, some representatives of the retail giant have expressed opinions that the retailer provides “some of the best jobs available everywhere we hire” and that a majority of the Bessemer workforce “say they would recommend Amazon as a good place to work to their friends.”
Photo Alan Levine