Workers at a warehouse of the multinational e-commerce company Amazon in Alabama rejected by a large majority the creation of what would have been the first union of the company in the United States, as could be followed Friday in the public vote count.
Thus, with 71% of the 3,215 votes cast counted, the technology company’s workers who oppose having a union now exceed more than half, 1,798.
Union supporters, meanwhile, have only garnered 738 votes, less than half as many as their opponents.
The final results have not yet been certified by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board, and the unionists still have the option of filing a legal battle if they believe there have been irregularities in the process.
The canvass began Thursday, after nearly two full weeks of discussions between the company and union members over the validity of each vote in a process that was done manually behind closed doors and on a ballot-by-ballot basis.
According to union sources, Amazon rejected several hundred ballots.
For what it may have been, the vote was widely followed across the country, and even U.S. President Joe Biden implicitly alluded to the case when he made a strong public defense of unions and the right to unionize in early March.
The firm headed by Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man according to Forbes magazine, is the second largest employer in the United States, behind only the Walmart supermarket chain, and since the start of the pandemic has boosted both its business and profits and hired tens of thousands of new workers.
However, the company has no labor union in the country and is known for its staunch opposition to employee organizing efforts, something it has shown on several occasions throughout this campaign at the Alabama warehouse.