Yahoo Finance’s Daniel Howley, Kristin Myers and Alexis Christoforous report the latest on the union voting for Amazon’s Alabama warehouse employees.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Amazon secured enough votes to defeat the unionization drive at one of its warehouses in Alabama. The result culminates months of a hard fought election to unionize a US Amazon facility for the very first time. Our tech editor Dan Howley is here now with all the details. And Dan, it seems like the vote wasn't even close.
DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, so far, the numbers for the vote are 696. The votes against joining the union are 1,608, so a landslide in Amazon's favor. Now we do have responses from both the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store union, as well as Amazon. Amazon in its response said essentially that it had was proud of its workers and that it was happy to see that this is the result of the vote itself.
As far as the RWDSU, they said Amazon left no stone unturned in its efforts to gaslight its own employees. 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.
Now Amazon said in its own statement, saying that, essentially, they knew that those kinds of challenges would come. They said that there was plenty of mudslinging on the side of pro union. They claim that there was more mudslinging on the side of pro union folks, rather than on Amazon's side. But obviously, a huge letdown for the workers who wanted to unionize. And it could be kind of a black eye for union efforts going forward in other Amazon locations.
KRISTIN MYERS: I was actually just about to ask you about that, Dan, because this was a unionization attempt in their Alabama warehouse. Are you hearing about other unionization attempts perhaps at warehouses in different areas?
DAN HOWLEY: Well, this was supposed to be kind of a way for them to kick off, them being union organizers, a chance for them to kick off organizing in other areas of the country. And obviously, this Bessemer, Alabama facility, it's a newer facility. One of the issues was that when they allowed the employees that started, they were getting that hazard pay from COVID for $17 an hour. But when Amazon pulled that back, they went down to $15 an hour. So they had effectively seen their starting pay reduced by $2 an hour.
But Amazon touts in its own reaction that they do, in fact, pay $15 an hour as a starting minimum. And they do offer health benefits, something that a lot of jobs that offer minimum wage don't do. Obviously, the minimum wage lower than $15 an hour. So it could really suppress the ability for other facilities to start to unionize and organize. But the RWDSU obviously saying that they're going to stick to their guns and file complaints against this vote and against Amazon.