Unionizing Amazon warehouses was never going to be easy

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Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

For more than a year, a group of workers in Bessemer, Alabama have campaigned to unionize their warehouse under the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), hoping to force the retail giant to collectively bargain with its warehouse workers for the first time. On Friday, those hopes came to an abrupt end. In a unit-wide election, workers at the warehouse voted against unionization by a more than 2-1 margin, with 738 votes in favor to 1,798 against.

It’s a devastating loss for the RWDSU and the labor movement broadly. The union is still fighting the result — filing objections and arguing that Amazon’s campaign violated labor law — but those challenges are unlikely to change the result. After dreaming of a domino effect that…

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Author: Russell Brandom