However, the result of today’s vote count proved, one thing we knew for sure: it would not mark the end of the fight between Amazon and the retail, wholesale and department store union.
Because of voting for Amazon, the union challenged the results. In addition, WDSU was quick to issue a statement to TechCrunch after President Stuart Appelbaum did not break the 50% threshold of any vote, noting, “We are calling for a thorough investigation into Amazon’s behavior in this election corruption case.” Amazon, surprisingly, was quick to take in the lap of a win. The company wrote in a blog post submitted to “Amazon Staff”:
Thanks to the staff at our BHM1 Perfection Center in Alabama for participating in the election. There has been a lot of noise over the last few months and we are glad finally hear your collective voices. In the end, less than 16% of BHM1 employees voted to join the RWDSU union. It would be easy for the union to predict that Amazon won this election because we intimidated employees, but this is not true.
The agency was quick to announce the “end” of the election, with RWDSU optimistic about future arrangements at Bessemer warehouse and the effort to move forward on Amazon would mean a movement for unification, both. At a news conference earlier today, Appelbaum suggested that Amazon workers told they would have to vote against the union if they wanted to keep their jobs.
“We believe the re-election is very likely to take place,” the union president told the media. “I think if Amazon thinks it’s a victory, they might want to reconsider it. After all, it is a miraculous victory. See what happened during this period. We have uncovered the brutal work situation on Amazon for everyone to see.” Appelbaum’s comments appear to cite numerous reports of workers urinating on bottles due to concerns about strict quotas. In the midst of aggressive social media hype at the apparent direction of CEO Jeff Bezos, the company initially denied the reports, before admitting they could appeal to some drivers.
However, Amazon was quick to blame the broader industry problems. “Amazon didn’t win – our employees chose to vote against joining a union,” the company added in its post. “Our employees are the heart and soul of Amazon and we have always worked hard to listen to them, get their feedback, make continuous improvements and invest heavily in safe and inclusive workplaces with great pay and benefits. We are not perfect, but we are proud of our team and what we have to offer and will continue to work to get better every day.”