Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Ala., will soon begin voting on whether to form a union, a year after the large unionization effort failed amid controversy over the e-commerce giant’s tactics.

Ballots will be mailed Feb. 4, and votes will begin to be counted on March. 28, the National Labor Relations Board announced Tuesday.

Amazon workers previously overwhelmingly rejected a unionization effort at the warehouse last year, but the NLRB called for a revote after finding that Amazon improperly interfered in that election. An NLRB official specifically cited Amazon’s placing of an unmarked U.S. Postal Service mailbox in front of the warehouse just after voting started, writing that Amazon “essentially highjacked the process and gave a strong impression that it controlled the process.”

The rejection of the unionization efforts by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union last year was a major blow to efforts to organize Amazon, which is the second largest U.S. private employer. It was one of the first major such efforts in years, and drew national attention, including from President Biden, who tweeted a video last year saying workers should be able to make their decisions without company pressure.

More than 5,800 workers were eligible to vote, and rejected unionization by more than a 2-to-1 margin.

The RWDSU raised concerns during the voting last year about a mailbox the company placed by the warehouse, saying it could signal to workers that Amazon was involved in the running of the election, as well as other concerns that the company unfairly influenced the outcome.


Amazon fought hard against the union, including by posting fliers in worker bathrooms and text messages.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. The company defended the first election and previously said it was “disappointing that the NLRB has now decided that those votes shouldn’t count.”

The RWDSU had asked for an in-person election for the revote, and expressed disappointment Tuesday that its requests to the agency were not adopted.

“Amazon’s misconduct during the first union election so tainted the outcome that the NLRB overturned the results and directed a second election for workers in Bessemer, Alabama,” the union said in a statement. “We are deeply concerned that the decision fails to adequately prevent Amazon from continuing its objectionable behavior in a new election.”

Last month, Amazon reached a separate settlement with the NLRB, and agreed to make it easier for workers to engage in union organizing at its warehouses by posting notices and allowing some gathering.

The workforce at Amazon’s warehouses has a high turnover rate due to the nature of the job, and many new employees are likely to be voting this time around.

The NLRB cited Amazon’s mailbox as one of the reasons to order a revote, and also noted that Amazon was pressuring workers to display anti-union paraphernalia. That “could reasonably cause an employee to perceive that the Employer was trying to discern their support for, or against, the Union,” an official wrote in the decision.

Amazon was also ordered to post a notice at the Bessemer facility that reads, in part, that the previous election was set aside “because the National Labor Relations Board found the Employer interfered with the employees’ exercise of a free and reasoned choice by creating the appearance of irregularity in the election procedure due to issues surrounding the installation of a mailbox outside the main entrance and by improperly polling employees’ support during mandatory meetings.”

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