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Left Voice - April 5, 2021

For those of us watching closely, it’s like the 2020 election 2.0 — but this time without having to memorize every county of Pennsylvania.

While we don’t know when the results will be announced, we can explain why it’s taking so long and assess some of the possible scenarios.

5,800 ballots were sent out starting February 8 for the mail-in vote. Both full-time and part-time workers at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Bessemer, Alabama were eligible to vote and the last votes were received on March 29.

Throughout the election period, Amazon led a vast and expensive anti-union campaign. Every day, workers were subject to countless anti-union meetings, text messages, and even threats. There were even anti-union signs in the bathrooms, yet there were no mechanisms for the union to get unhindered access to workers.

Counting the Votes

After two months of voting, the ballots were sent to the National Labor Relations Board to be counted in front of observers from Amazon and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. In the first step, the NLRB checks the names of everyone who voted against the official employee roll. Both sides are able to contest ballots and those challenged will be set aside.

Some of the reasons to contest ballots include that a person doesn’t work at the warehouse anymore or should not be included in the bargaining unit because of job classification or managerial responsibilities. Reuters reported that 19 people received ballots even though they no longer worked at Amazon.

Then the ballots will be counted: for and against the union. They are counted twice in batches of 100. Slate reports that if thousands of people voted, this process could take weeks. A simple majority of votes is needed to win the union. The NLRB has not released the number of ballots submitted, nor how many have been contested so far.

If the number of contested votes is high enough to change the final outcome, hearings may be held to have those votes counted. This would further delay results. Both sides would then argue their case for each ballot. ...
Read full report at Left Voice