Amazon.com Inc. is seeking to postpone a unionization vote at a warehouse in Alabama and is asking federal labor authorities to reconsider a decision to allow mail-in voting due to the pandemic.
The company Thursday filed an appeal to a decision by the National Labor Relations Board, which is allowing a mail-in process due to Covid-19 risks instead of the in-person elections that are typical in such unionization votes.
The ballots are set to be mailed to about 6,000 workers associated with its Bessemer, Alabama facility on February 8, 2021. In its petition, Amazon said the board’s decision was flawed in part because it had not adequately defined an outbreak, among other objections.
Workers are seeking representation from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. A majority of ballots cast would have to choose unionization to gain representation. Hourly Amazon workers have never previously formed or joined a union in the U.S.
A spokeswoman for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union declined to comment. Amazon declined to comment on its appeal but has said it believes the best approach to an election would be conducting it in person, saying it “provided the NLRB with a safe, confidential and convenient proposal for associates to vote on-site, which is in the best interest of all parties—associate convenience, vote fidelity and timeliness of vote count.”