Amazon Vote Praised by Commerce Secretary

Though the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union says it will challenge the results of the union election at Amazon’s Bessemer fulfillment facility, Alabama’s commerce secretary says the defeat of the union is not a surprise.

“It’s not surprising Amazon employees in Alabama voted overwhelmingly against unionization, as the company provides world-class benefits and a safe, quality work environment,” Greg Canfield said. “We’re proud that Amazon chose Alabama, and we are proud to be a right-to-work state. Alabama has an unwavering support for its workforce, just as it supports the growth of business and economic development so vital for our citizens and communities.”

Results announced Friday showed 1,798 workers voting against unionization and 738 voting for it. The union push drew national media coverage and heavy campaigning on both sides. President Joe Biden, senators Marco Rubio and Bernie Sanders, actor Danny Glover and activist Killer Mike and Sanders were among those lending their voices in support of unionization, while Amazon launched a campaign to sway its workers against the unionization.

The union said Amazon’s efforts went too far and said it would challenge the results.

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“Amazon knew full well that unless they did everything they possibly could, even illegal activity, their workers would have continued supporting the union,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the RWDSU.

Amazon called the union’s charges “fabrications,” according to the Washington Post, saying they were “tiresome but expected.”

Katie Boyd, president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama, joined Canfield in praising the voting results.

“It is the quality of our workforce that brings major international companies like Amazon to Alabama,” she said. “Alabama is a right-to-work state, and that status has helped attract companies that recognize that what is good for Alabama workers and their families is also good for business.”

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