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A sign outside the Amazon fulfillment center in Beesemer. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

A complaint by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) alleges that Amazon illegally interfered in the union election at its Bessemer, Alabama warehouse, CNBC reports.

The big picture: The RWDSU alleged in its complaint to the National Labor Relations Board that Amazon threatened layoffs, loss of pay or benefits, or a facility closure if workers voted in favor of the effort which flopped earlier this month.

  • Only 30% of workers at the warehouse voted for unionization during the more-than-month-long ballot.

State of play: RWDSU outlined 23 objections in its filing. Among them were claims that Amazon removed employees who asked questions at meetings, fired an employee for passing out union authorization cards and disciplined someone for being outspoken in their support for the union.

  • The actions had a "chilling effect on support for the union," RWDSU said, per CNBC.
  • The other side: "The fact is that less than 16% of employees at BHM1 voted to join a union. Rather than accepting these employees’ choice, the union seems determined to continue misrepresenting the facts in order to drive its own agenda. We look forward to the next steps in the legal process," Amazon said in a statement.

Why it matters: Unionization efforts within Amazon could be a bellwether for the retail and warehouse industry. While RWDSU has unionized some European Amazon facilities, no U.S. Amazon facilities have unionized yet.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Amazon.

Go deeper

Exclusive: Houston mayor to lead Black mayors group

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks during a private funeral for George Floyd. Photo: Godofredo A. Vásquez/Pool/Getty Images

The mayor of the city where George Floyd was raised is taking over a group that represents 500 Black mayors in the U.S. amid national pressure to revamp police departments.

Why it matters: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner will become the new president of the African American Mayors Association as municipalities across the country examine police reforms and deal with the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Delivery industry sees biggest monthly job losses in more than 20 years

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic's biggest job winner is losing steam.

Driving the news: People who deliver packages to businesses and homes — classified as "couriers and messengers" by the Labor Department — saw the industry's biggest monthly job losses in more than 20 years in April.

FDA authorizes Pfizer COVID vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12- to 15-year-old adolescents, the agency announced on Monday.

Why it matters: The emergency authorization marks a critical milestone in the push to get more Americans vaccinated and fully reopen schools for in-person learning this fall.

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