Amazon union election to begin in February, U.S. labor board says

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves

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By Jeffrey Dastin

(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:)’s first U.S. union election since 2014 is scheduled to begin with the mailing of ballots in early February and a vote count starting March 30, a U.S. labor board official said in a filing on Friday.

The announcement brings employees at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama a step closer to deciding whether to join part of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). A “yes” vote would mark the first ever for a U.S. Amazon facility.

As of Jan. 7, Amazon employed almost 6,200 hourly workers at the warehouse, according to the filing. To win, the union needs a simple majority of those who submit ballots in the election.

While Amazon had preferred in-person voting, the labor board sided with the union on a mail-in procedure “because this is the safest and most appropriate method of conducting an election in view of the extraordinary circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the filing said.

Amazon did not immediately answer a request for comment. The RWDSU declined to comment.

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