Votes to unionize an Amazon warehouse in Alabama are being counted at the National Labor Relations Board’s office in Birmingham.
The union seeking to represent workers said late Wednesday that there are 3,215 ballots – or 55 percent of the nearly 5,800 workers – who were eligible to vote. Hundreds of ballots are being contested, most of them by Amazon according to the Department of Retail and Wholesale Stores.
In addition to union and company representatives, a small number of outsiders, including journalists, are shown vote counting on videoconferencing calls.
Union elections are usually held in person, but the Labor Board determined that the election should be conducted by mail to minimize the risk during an epidemic. The ballots were sent to workers in early February and were in the agency before 30 March. Since then, Amazon and the union have had a chance to challenge whether special workers were eligible to vote.
When a public vote is counted, the agency will announce formal results if the winning margin for one party exceeds the number of ballots contested.
If the margin is narrow, it may take two to three weeks for the NLRB to be trimmed through the ballot papers involved in the election, and proof from both sides of whether they should be counted.