Inside Business

Amazon’s nose bloodied by US union as battle of Bessemer set for rematch

It does big companies good to take a knock from time to time but Amazon’s hard-pressed workers could emerge as the real winners as the company faces a fresh unionisation vote, writes James Moore

Tuesday 30 November 2021 21:30
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<p>America’s National Labour Relations Board has ordered a second vote on unionisation in Bessemer, Alabama </p>

America’s National Labour Relations Board has ordered a second vote on unionisation in Bessemer, Alabama

Amazon shareholders might have cause to thank America’s National Labour Relations Board. They mightn’t see it that way after the board ordered a fresh union ballot at the company’s facility in the now internationally famous town of Bessemer, Alabama. But the ruling could actually be of benefit to them.

The company pulled out all the stops in its attempt to frustrate the unionisation drive there, a drive which drew favourable comment from president Joe Biden – who urged workers to “make your voice heard” – as well as other prominent Democrats and even the odd Republican.

Amazon was ultimately successful. The bid was soundly defeated with less than 30 per cent voting in favour. But the tactics used to achieve that result generated considerable controversy and led the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union to launch its successful challenge.

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