Workers stand in line to cast ballots for a union election at Amazon’s JFK8 distribution center, in the Staten Island borough of New York City, U.S., March 25, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid.

March 30, 2022

(Reuters) – Turnout for Inc’s repeat union vote in Alabama decreased from last year, a labor group said on Wednesday, adding that it expects U.S. labor officials to begin tallying the result Thursday afternoon.

About 39% of the 6,143 workers designated to receive mail ballots voted in the contest, according to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). That’s down from over 50% last year. The election could determine if Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, becomes the company’s first unionized worksite in the United States.

In 2021, workers rejected joining the RWDSU by a more than 2-to-1 margin. The U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)called for a re-run after finding that Amazon had interfered around the vote.

Unionizing Amazon, America’s second-largest private employer, has long been a goal for the U.S. labor movement, which is seeking to reverse long-running declines in membership. Union membership fell to 10% of the eligible workforce in 2021 from 20% in 1983, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has said.

Amazon and the NLRB did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in Palo Alto, California; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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