Federal labor officials Feb. 5 rejected Amazon’s request that a union election at one of its Alabama warehouses be delayed, paving the way for thousands to cast votes as soon as next weekand perhaps for similar efforts at other Amazon sites, according to news reports.

None of the multinational company’s U.S. employees belong to a union.

Amazon sought postponement of a unionization vote at it’s Bessemer, Ala., warehouse, arguing that the balloting should be done exclusively in person, rather than also by mail. The National Labor Relations Board denied the request, saying the mail-balloting is the "safest and most appropriate" method, given the pandemic.

"Today's decision proves that it's long past time that Amazon start respecting its own employees; and allow them to cast their votes without intimidation and interference,” said Stuart Appelbaum, the president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which is aiding the unionization effort.

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