Amazon’s first union vote failed, but labor activists aren’t giving up

Jeff Bezos Amazon
  • The International Brotherhood of Teamsters will vote Thursday about organizing Amazon workers, Vice reports.
  • Amazon defeated efforts to unionize its Bessemer, Alabama warehouse earlier this year.
  • Amazon has a history of campaigning heavily against unionization efforts.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Amazon is used to unions trying to organize its workers. And while there hasn’t been any success in unionizing US warehouse workers and or delivery drivers, activists aren’t giving up just yet.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters will vote Thursday on a decision to organize Amazon workers, labeling their efforts the “Amazon Project,” Vice’s Motherboard reported and CNBC confirmed.

The Teamsters union is one of the largest in the country. It consists largely of truck drivers and warehouse workers but has also organized workers in “virtually every occupation imaginable, both professional and non-professional, private sector and public sector,” it says.

The push comes just months after Amazon defeated efforts to unionize its warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama.

The company aggressively campaigned against the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)’s efforts, and it paid off for the online retailer with 1,798 votes against the union and 738 votes for the union.

For labor organizers, establishing a union at Amazon – one of the largest retailers and most valuable companies in the world – would be a significant milestone.

“We’ve been working on this for quite some time-well before Bessemer broke out,” Randy Korgan, Teamsters National Director for Amazon, told Vice’s Motherboard.

“We understand transportation and logistics companies that are only motivated by profit will make changes that always end in workers losing,” Kroger told Motherboard. “There’s been one unified organization for those workers and that’s been Teamsters members and the Teamsters union as a whole.”

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.