Amazon workers at a warehouse in Alabama began voting on Monday to decide whether they want union representation, paving the way, potentially, for hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers at the e-commerce giant.
Nearly 6,000 people are called upon to send their bulletin by post by March 29, after months of mobilization of certain employees to organize this election.
The count is expected to start on March 30, and could last for several days.
If the majority of Bessemer warehouse workers vote in favor of unionization, they will automatically be represented by the RWDSU distribution union, but will not become full members until a new one is approved. company contract, negotiated between the union and the company.
Amazon is the second largest employer in the United States, with 800,000 people, mostly workers and technicians in its logistics centers.
So far, attempts to organize in warehouses have failed.
The warehouse organizing committee held a rally last weekend to urge employees to vote to join RWDSU.
“We cannot overemphasize the importance of the formation of a union by Amazon workers in Alabama,” tweeted former Democratic nomination contestant Bernie Sanders on Saturday.
“They face powerful anti-union forces in an anti-union state, but their victory will benefit all workers in the United States. I am proud to be at their side ”.
The Seattle group does not officially oppose unions, but campaigns against membership of its employees. In Bessemer’s case, a website called “DoItWithoutDues” encourages employees not to join a potential union.
“Why pay 500 dollars in membership fees? We take care of you with high salaries, health insurance, optical and dental benefits as well as a safety committee and recourse process, ”claims the homepage.
The company pays its employees a minimum of $ 15.30 an hour, more than double the minimum wage in Alabama.
A photo of the warehouse toilets, relayed in particular on Twitter by Stuart Appelbaum, the president of the RWDSU, shows posters plastered on the doors inside the toilets with an argument against union dues.