(Reuters) – In 2021 Amazoncom Inc faces renewed challenge from groups it has long encountered: unions

Stimulated by protests at AmazonS Warehouses and a more work-friendly administration take over the office The unions are campaigning for the world’s largest online retailer to have its warehouse or grocery workers join their ranks

A big test is expected early next year when workers in a warehouse decide whether to unionise the company has not had union elections in the US since 2014 and a yes vote would be the first for a U.S. Amazon facility

Amazon, America’s second largest private employer after Walmart Inc, has told workers it already offers the union’s promise of pay and benefits, and has trained managers to recognize organizational activity doing business in France provides a picture of what the company would avoid: Strong unions this year caused its warehouses to close for months

The upcoming vote is for employees at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama They will weigh up whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) The organizing committee launched a social media campaign, shared union authorization cards, and collected enough to hold the elections

This week and last week, RWDSU and Amazon negotiated the terms of the election.By Tuesday, they agreed to have seasonal workers in the negotiating unit, as well as litigation assistants whose involvement the union had questioned after the election hearings for its regulator, led by a government working committee This board sets the election date

The larger the negotiation unit – now probably over 5700 – the more votes the union needs to win

In a statement, Amazon said, “We don’t think this group represents the majority of our employees’ views. Our employees choose Amazon because we have some of the best jobs available anywhere we hire the average pay in the Bessemer facility is $ 1530 an hour, and jobs come with health and retirement benefits, it said

Precedent shows RWDSU faces an uphill battle Union membership has fallen from 20% in 1983 to 10% of the eligible workforce in 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in January

Amazon workers organize elsewhere too Alexander Collias, cashier at Amazon subsidiary Whole Foods, said he took part in strikes because the pandemic put workers’ health at risk and he claims management has addressed other concerns / p>

“We’re definitely extremely union-friendly,” he said of his Whole Foods store in Portland. “If we voted today, it would probably happen”

Courtenay Brown, a litigation assistant at an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey, said work in her building increased tenfold during the pandemic and coworkers got sick, so she started spreading work-related petitions on Facebook

“We need to be able to have a voice,” said Brown, 30, adding that she was neutral about the impact a union could have on their establishment

Reuters was introduced to Brown and Collias through work promotion groups on Amazon One of them was Whole Worker, a group of current and former Whole Foods employees who wanted to organize the grocery chain

Its strategy is to focus reach and actions in half a dozen Whole Foods stores, including in Portland and Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, where the majority of employees have already been supported, said Katie Doan, one of the group’s directors

“We prefer to focus on small businesses here and there that are sure to be fully unionized rather than failing nationally,” said Doan, who worked for Whole Foods in California through earlier this year,

Representatives from United Food and Commercial Workers International have also sought to discuss union formation, hazard accounting and other issues with Whole Foods employees This is evident from interviews and copies of the press release shared with Reuters

Seattle-area unions are also meeting with technicians from Amazon, their coalition leader said a local is helping whistleblowers from companies fired by Amazon to challenge their dismissal as a violation of US Labor law, according to a public record received from Reuters, Amazon said it supported workers’ right to criticize the company, but the employees in question violated internal guidelines

Labor advocates say President Joe Biden’s administration stands ready to help with the union effort and make the US The National Labor Relations Board is less committed to corporate interests and supports the Law to Protect Organization Right (PRO)

This bill passed the US House in February and would add penalties for businesses hindering the organization; Senate approval is nowhere near guaranteed Its passage would help level the playing field for workers, said Stuart Appelbaum, RWDSU president, whose Mid-South Council is behind the union movement in Alabama

“With a change in management, Amazon employees have a much better chance of coming together,” he said

All offers were delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a full list of exchanges and delays, see

Amazon Warehouse

World news – GB – Amazon has to face US Union push in the coming year

Source: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-amazon-com-labor-yearend-focus-idUKKBN28X1A4