Efforts to unionize Amazon.com warehouse workers in Alabama were defeated on Friday by a more than 2-to-1 margin in a major win for the online retailer, but the union trying to organize workers was set to challenge the results, assailing the company’s methods.

What are some valid reasons for workers to vote against unionizing?

I did find this report on the topic, which I will try to look at later. I am pretty ignorant about the topic of unions.


I’ve read comments on other sites, that said Bessemer, Alabama is a very poor and small city. That Amazon fulfillment center employs a lot of people and, as bad as the job is, it’s still one of the best jobs in the area. Workers are afraid that if they unionize, Amazon will just shutdown the fulfillment center and leave everyone without work.

Unfortunately, in the United States, that’s often what happens. You unionize, so the company shuts down the facility and moves it somewhere with stronger anti-union laws. It’s happened a million times.


Not just in the US. It happened in Canada.


The real take away here is that these are the best jobs in that town.

I’m sorry to hear this is the case in Canada as well. And you’re right. In poor, rural communities, you often pick between a Walmart job that pays you $10/hr (maybe) or someplace like this that might pay you $12 or $13 hourly.

That sounds abusive.

In the report linked above there is a section on Plant-Closing Threats. They point out the following:

Employers recognize the value that plant-closing threats add to an overall anti-union strategy, and they frequently issue such threats even when they do not intend to carry them out. Bronfenbrenner (1997) found that half of all employers involved in union organizing campaigns nationally issued threats to close all or part of their operations should the union be victorious. Just three percent actually followed through on these threats after workers voted in favor of union representation. (Bronfenbrenner 2000)

There is also a section that discusses the legality of such anti-union strategy:

Most Employer Tactics Are Considered Legal or Difficult to Prove as “Unfair”

At first glance, many of the tactics that employers use appear to violate the law. For example, the threat of company closings or relocations is one of the most common anti-union tactics used during organizing campaigns. The following are examples from the CRC Survey of the ways in which employers delivered the threat that avoid explicitly connecting the closure of the facility to employees’ decision to join or vote for the union or engage in protected activity:

• “I can close this company if I want to.”

• "I might have to close [the company] because we don’t have money. I might shut down [the company] and re-open it under a different name.”

• "The company is losing money and can’t compete with a union in place.”

• "The company next door closed because of a union. A lot of companies are closing down or leaving the U.S. because of the unions.”

• “Unions make our business unviable”


Plant closing threats can turn into reality: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/wal-mart-to-close-unionized-quebec-store-1.554398

I’m certain Amazon can afford the make that fulfillment center closure seem like a necessary business maneuver and totally not retribution to unionization.


I wonder if there’s something I’m missing, I would have though (as an outsider) that opting for unionization would have been ideal in the long run for the workers (even if some didnt benefit the same way in the short run).

If anyone knows more or has a link please share, I’d like to learn more.


Those were really good reads, I see some similarities to when my workplace was starting their anti-Union talk in the listed examples - thank you for the links!

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