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Amazon defeats Alabama union effort amid allegations of gas lighting its own employees

Amazon defeats activists hoping to establish the company’s first unionised warehouse in the US.

Workers at the Bessemer, Alabama warehouse voted 1,798 to 738 against the effort, labour officials said.

That represented a majority of votes cast in the contest, which was seen as a key test for Amazon after global criticism of its treatment of workers during the pandemic.




The union said it would challenge the results.

It accused Amazon of interfering with the right of employees to vote in a “free and fair election”, including by lying to staff about the implications of the vote in mandatory meetings and pushing the postal service to install a mailbox on company grounds in an effort to monitor the vote.

“Amazon has left no stone unturned in its efforts to gaslight its own employees,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), which organised the effort.



“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.”

Amazon said on Friday that it was “not true” that it had intimidated staff.

It said the firm worked hard to listen to concerns and improve, casting the outcome as a choice by staff, rather than a company victory.

“We’re not perfect, but we’re proud of our team and what we offer, and will keep working to get better every day,” it said.