Amazon becomes the winner in Alabama union vote

Workers union RWDSU has recently lost its efforts regarding establishing the first unionised Amazon warehouse in the United States.

Amazon has been opposing the decision from the start, and, once a vote occurred for the decision, the Alabama warehouse voted 1,798 against the union with 738 in favour.

To win the vote, Amazon required at least half of the votes or 1,608 votes, however, the current outcome of the vote still has to be verified by the National Labor Relations Board.

This means there is still time for the labour union to challenge the outcome of the vote and potentially secure its first unionised warehouse.

The union proceeded to state that the vote was rigged as it accused Amazon of interfering with the result by lying to staff about the meanings of the vote in mandatory meetings and attempting to have the postal service install a mailbox on company grounds to monitor ballots.

"We won't let Amazon's lies, deception and illegal activities go unchallenged, which is why we are formally filing charges against all of the egregious and blatantly illegal actions taken by Amazon during the union vote." Stuart Appelbaum President of the RWDSU said.

The union vote has come at a time where Amazon has received large criticism regarding the treatment of their workers despite their high minimum wage of $15.

Amazon has been accused earlier of delivery drivers being over-worked causing them to be forced to pee in bottles.

Consequently, the labour union has called the protests to criticise Amazons working conditions.

The leaders of the union hoped that Amazons increasing revenue during the pandemic combined with the fact that its workers have been forced to work in more dangerous conditions would make a good case for their effort.

Additionally, the organisers tied the efforts towards broader issues such as civil rights and racial justice due to complaints regarding impersonal treatment by management.

Due to Amazons already high wage rate, they are monopsony buyer of low-skilled labour as other similar employers do not have the capital available to push up wages like Amazon.

This high wage rate also allows Amazon to attract the highest quality of labour as a larger quantity of the labour force will want to work for the form, enabling them to maximise their output.

However, if the labour union were to win, Amazon would somewhat lose their monopsony power as a labour union is a monopoly seller of labour.

Because of this, the market power dynamic between monopsony and monopoly would balance out, or, may become favoured towards the union.

This result would force Amazon to negotiate contracts with union officials on issues such as work rules and pay.

This may result in higher costs for Amazon which could cause a few workers to be laid off, however, if the market is balanced, the union interference may only have little effect on the number of employees Amazon is capable of handling.


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