The ballot-counting process for a high-profile union election by Amazon.com Inc. workers in Alabama started Tuesday, after the mail-in voting period ended Monday. The count is expected to last days. Thousands of workers from the facility in Bessemer, Ala., cast votes.
The election will determine whether the warehouse employees will become the first group to unionize among Amazon ’s roughly 950,000 U.S. workers. Pro-union employees have sought help from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, or RWDSU, a frequent Amazon opponent that would represent the workers if they vote in favor of unionizing.
Organizers have said forming a union would allow workers to collectively bargain over safety standards, training, breaks, pay and other benefits. Those topics have been at the center of disputes between Amazon and its workforce sprawled across hundreds of facilities. Some employees have complained about what they say is a grueling workload and how the company monitors employees through an internal tracking system and cameras.
Amazon, which is on pace—based on recent hiring trends—to overtake Walmart Inc. as the largest U.S. employer within the next few years, has said that it offers some of the best pay and benefits available for comparable jobs in similar industries, and that the company provides a competitive compensation package that includes 401(k) and healthcare coverage.
Here is what you need to know about the coming election results: