On April 9, 2021, Birmingham, Alabama employees voted 1,798 to 738 against the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union at Amazon in Birmingham. There were 505 challenged ballots and 76 voided ballots, but those will not affect the outcome. Amazon has garnered more than 50% of the ballots cast, securing its victory over the union. The union is likely to file objections seeking to overturn this election, but even if those efforts are successful, employers generally tend to perform better in re-run elections. President Biden and Senators Sanders and Rubio (for different reasons) expressed their support for unionization at Amazon. Black Lives Matter and other social justice and economic equity advocates have aligned with the unionization effort. In this webinar, Richard Lehr discussed lessons learned from the Amazon campaign: workplace issues, union alliances with political and social justice advocacy groups, and what employers can do to avoid becoming “Amazoned.”
- How a company (Amazon) with a new facility which opened in April 2020 ended up with over 3,000 employees signing union cards by November 2020.
- Race, social justice, and economic equity as drivers for unionization.
- Public pressure/boycott?
- Which employers are most vulnerable to labor alliance organizing? Health care, financial services, consumer products, retail/service/hospitality industries.
- President Biden’s transformation of the NLRB – what this means for employers.
- The Protecting the Right to Organize (“PRO”) Act – goodbye to Right-to-Work?
- What employers should do to assess unionization vulnerability – it is beyond “TIPS” training.
Richard has handed well over 100 union campaigns nationally, covering a multitude of unions in all sectors of the economy, including the union trying to organize Amazon – the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). He is often called upon to handle complex labor relations issues nationally. This ranges from handling mergers of represented and non-represented workforces, collective bargaining in consolidating industries and challenging economies, and strategic consulting with employers regarding the labor and employment relations implications of change.
April 28, 2021
Richard I. Lehr