They should steal a sidelong glance at the doings of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union. RWDSU is said to be readying a challenge before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after losing the much‐hyped election at Amazon’s Bessemer, Ala. warehouse complex by a staggering margin of 1,798 against representation to only 738 in favor.
If you assumed the vote would be closer than that, you may be forgiven. Sectors of the national press had blown up the Bessemer vote as a fraught national moment of decision, with some reporters making themselves uncritical cheerleaders for the union side. After the vote, The Washington Post print edition that reached my front step carried the front‐page headline “Amazon’s union win is latest for Big Tech vs. its workers.”
Read that again — “vs. its workers.” In the mind of the headline writer, what “worker advocates” wanted seems to have entirely eclipsed what the actual workers on the scene did in fact want.
The RWDSU’s theory of election tampering hinges on Amazon’s supposed unfair labor practice in getting the U.S. Postal Service to install a secure postbox outside the facility to make it easier for employees to cast ballots (which they could also do in other ways). In what passes for normal election talk these days, multiplying convenient voting options to enable high turnout is ordinarily seen as good while blocking the introduction of such methods raises the specter of suppression. At National Review, Charles Cooke says the union’s claim is especially “ludicrous”: