A National Labor Relations Committee (NLRB) official has recommended workers at Amazon’s Bessemer warehouse in Alabama to hold new elections because Amazon violated U.S. labor laws, New York Times reported. This is still only a preliminary solution, but it gives hope that workers will still be able to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
Last April, workers were at the fulfillment center voted against union association with a margin greater than two to one. However, after the vote, RWDSU allegedly that Amazon won because it “interfered” with the rights of its employees to “vote in free and fair elections; a right protected under section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act”.
RWDSU has filed a total of 23 complaints, including one complaint that Amazon set up a ballot box in the employee parking lot “without the approval” of the NLRB’s regional director. It was observed that the box was placed under the sight of Amazon’s security cameras, creating an “impression of surveillance”.
An NLRB official sided with the union, saying Amazon had violated U.S. labor laws. “Throughout the NLRB debate, we heard compelling evidence of how Amazon tried to illegally hinder and intimidate workers seeking to exercise their right to union,” union president Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement. “We support the recommendation of the hearing officer that the NLRB annul the election results and direct new elections.”
Amazon, however, said it would challenge the decision and take steps to ensure an initial vote is held. “Our employees had the opportunity to be heard at a time of noise when all kinds of votes affected the national debate, and at the end of the day, they voted overwhelmingly for a direct link to their managers,” an Amazon spokesman said. the statement said. “Their voice should be heard above all else, and we plan to file an appeal to ensure that.”
The decision has no legal force yet until a complete decision is made by the acting regional director of the NLRB, which could take up to a month. During this time, the parties will be able to submit exceptions.
Since Bessemer’s vote, Amazon’s situation has attracted the attention of the Teamsters union, which has created a special division that will focus on organizing Amazon’s delivery drivers. Amazon has been criticized for working conditions drivers and warehouse workers, along with efforts to destroy the unions that were exposed to the ua New York Times report earlier this year.
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