Amazon workers in Alabama will get another chance to unionize

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US regulators have ordered Amazon to submit a new vote to unionize an Alabama warehouse, ruling that the Seattle-based giant improperly interfered in a heated election this spring.

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Lisa Henderson, a regional director of the National Relations Labor Board, ordered a “new election”—reversing the results of an April vote to unionize the massive warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., which Amazon won by a margin of 2. had won. 1 – According to his 20-page decision released on Monday.

In its decision, the Atlanta-based official ruled that Amazon interfered with workers’ rights by calling mandatory meetings, at which Amazon defied Union Drive, and setting up a mailbox at the entrance of the warehouse where employees could cast their ballots. was asked for.


According to the decision, “Employer installation, selected location, and encouraged use of mailboxes raised a number of election-related issues.” Amazon’s “gross disregard for the Board’s distinctive mail-ballot process compromised the authority of the Board and made a free and fair election impossible.”

RWDSU challenged an April vote in which Amazon employees voted not to be represented by the union.
AFP via Getty Images

The final result of April’s vote, in which RWDSU officials accused Amazon executives of interfering with 23 labor laws violations, has been in limbo for months. Earlier this summer an NLRB official said all except one of the 23 charges had merit and left open the possibility that the vote could be reversed.

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At that time Amazon voted 738 in favor of a labor contract with 1,798 employees. In the election held in March, only 2,536 employees out of 5,867 voted.

Sen. Bernie Sanders stands with a supporter of the union.
The Union campaign was supported by members of Congress, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

RWDSU officials blamed interference by Amazon executives — including surveillance cameras that were installed in front of a mailbox in the employee parking lot where employees cast their votes — for the poor performance. Amazon denied the allegations.

Henderson said the mailbox’s existence is “the basis for keeping the election aside.”

“Today’s decision confirms what we’ve always been saying , that Amazon’s threats and interference prevented workers from saying objectively about whether or not they wanted a union in their workplace. And as the regional director has indicated, this is both unacceptable and illegal,” Stuart Applebaum, president of the retail, wholesale and department store union, said in a statement.

Union supporters encourage people to vote in an election as they drive by an Amazon warehouse.
The vote was one of the most anticipated and seen organization efforts at Amazon’s facility.
AFP via Getty Images

In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson said the company disagrees with the NLRB’s decision.

“Our employees always have the choice of whether or not to join a union, and they decided not to join RWDSU earlier this year,” Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said in a statement. “It is disappointing that the NLRB has now decided that those votes should not count. As a company, we do not think unions are the best answer for our employees.”

Soon after the vote, Amazon billionaire founder Jeff Bezos said in a letter to shareholders, “The results of the vote were one-sided and our direct relationship with employees is strong, it’s clear to me that we need to create value for employees.” A better approach is needed. – A vision for their success.”

A view of the Bessemer, Ala warehouse from afar.
Bessemer, Ala. Warehouse.
Getty Images


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