Amazon’s Alabama Workers Get Second Shot at a Union. What Does That Mean for AMZN Stock?

Workforce groups don’t always get a second chance at unionization, but in the case of the Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) warehouse workers of Bessemer, Alabama, they are about to. Today brought the news that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has called for a revote after determining that the last election included what has been deemed improper interference from the e-commerce giant. After the quick defeat that the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union suffered in the spring of 2021, this certainly seems like a victory, if for no other reason than it grants its members another chance to earn the union status for which they worked so hard. The picture may not look so rosy for investors, though, as AMZN stock hasn’t reacted well to the news.

photo of an Amazon (AMZN) box on wood floor of home
Source: Hadrian /

What’s Happening With AMZN Stock

News of the NLRB decision first broke yesterday. Since then, AMZN stock has been falling steadily. While it didn’t start the day by immediately plunging, as of this writing, it is down 1.15%. Despite a slight uptick, the stock doesn’t appear to be on the fast track to rebounding. The stock has seen a highly turbulent week, but recently, its losses have outnumbered its gains with shares currently down almost 2% for the past five days.

The pattern we’ve seen from AMZN throughout November, though, has been one of overall growth, with shares rising just over 6% for the month.

Why It Matters

This isn’t the first time this year that Amazon has been forced to deal with union organizing. Late in October, warehouse workers on Staten Island, New York, submitted a request for a union vote, which they ultimately withdrew. Although the New York Times reported that the worker group planned to refine its union petition when it collected more signatures, so far no further action has been announced. These unionization efforts pose too negative an effect for AMZN stock, though, which rebounded quickly after a slight downtick.

The fall of 2021 also saw a union campaign from Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) baristas in Buffalo, New York. Although the company has aggressively employed anti-union tactics, recent reports have indicated that the coffee chain’s workers may be nearing a rare victory. Like AMZN, SBUX stock hasn’t been too negatively affected by the month-long union saga that has taken shape. Despite some recent turbulence, shares are up 0.56% for the month.

All this points to the underlying conclusion that these unionization efforts aren’t likely to affect AMZN stock by too much. The company has dealt with several unionization efforts throughout the year. But through it all, the company has stayed mostly in the green.

What It Means

Even if the Bessemer union efforts succeed, investors shouldn’t be too concerned. During the height of the Staten Island campaign, an InvestorPlace analysis demonstrated that unionization trends don’t have to harm company stock prices by too much. In fact, in some cases, it can benefit the stock. As noted, labor-reliant companies such as United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and Boeing (NYSE:BA) have driven share-price growth while still positively engaging with unions.

While Amazon has garnered a reputation as an anti-union company, the recent election interference events may serve as incentive to engage with its developing union workforce more, focusing on worker engagement and less on union-busting. This could serve to combat some of the negative press that Amazon has received lately while simultaneously boosting stock prices.

On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

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