Amazon Union Vote in Alabama Is Overturned by Regional Labor Office – World News

Amazon Union Vote in Alabama Is Overturned by Regional Labor Office

A regional office of the National Labor Relations Board ordered the election of a new union at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama on Monday, upholding a union challenge to a vote that the company won decisively.

NS Decision was widely expected after a hearing officer recommended In August that the results be thrown out and a new election held.

The company announced after the August decision that it intended to appeal to the Labor Board in Washington if it did not prevail at the regional level, but did not say Monday whether it would comply.

roughly half Of the approximately 6,000 eligible workers at the warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., cast ballots by mail in February and March to join the retail, wholesale, and department store union. The tally was two to one against the unionization bid.

The union filed a formal objection to the election soon after the result. was announced in April, arguing that Amazon, among other complaints, had lowered the conditions for a fair election by pressing the Postal Service to install a collection box in the warehouse. The union said the box, which was not authorized by the Labor Board, created the impression that Amazon was monitoring which workers voted.

In its decision on Monday, the regional director of the Atlanta Area Labor Board agreed, writing that Amazon “gave a strong impression that it controls the process” by arranging the installation of the box. “This dangerous and inappropriate message to employees destroys confidence in board procedures and the credibility of election results,” said director, Lisa Y. Henderson concluded.

Ms Henderson also found that Amazon had improperly “voted” employees – that is, attempted to determine how they would vote – by informing workers at mandatory meetings that they could “not vote” items. such as pins that were placed solely in the opinion of HR officers

Union president Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement Monday that the decision showed “Amazon’s threats and interference prevented workers from saying whether they wanted a union.”

Amazon has said the box was intended to make it easier for employees to vote and that it did not have access to ballots submitted by workers.

“Our employees always have the option of whether or not to join a union, and they decided not to join RWDSU earlier this year,” Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokeswoman, 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.”

The regional office’s decision is a blow to Amazon at a time when its labor model under scrutiny, In September, California Accepted a law It would require warehouse employers like Amazon to disclose the productivity quotas they impose on workers and would restrict quotas that prevent workers from taking breaks and complying with health and safety regulations.

Earlier this month, the nearly 1.4 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters elected a new president which partly followed on the promise of an aggressive campaign for company unionization.

Bessemer Campaign sure was The most serious challenge ever from a union at a domestic facility owned by Amazon, which currently has no unionized warehouses in the United States. Amazon warehouse workers on Staten Island appeared eligible for union elections in October, but later withdrawn His request for votes.

Objecting to the way the Bessemer election was conducted, the retail workers union argued that Amazon consultants and managers created fear by removing workers from mandatory anti-union meetings if they asked questionable questions and by telling workers they didn’t pay for wages. Had taken the risk of loss or gain, or even their job, if they are unionized.

The August recommendation by the Labor Board’s hearing officer overruled many of the union’s objections in this vein, but the official found that “the employer’s unilateral decision, for all intents and purposes, resulted in the on-site collection box for NLRB ballots from the laboratory.” destroyed the terms” which are to prevail during a union election.

The hearing officer highlighted the fact that the collection box was surrounded by a tent on which Amazon had printed a campaign message (“Speak for Yourself”) and a directive to activists to “mail your ballot here” and That the tentacles appeared judging by Amazon’s surveillance cameras.

Ms Henderson, regional director, echoed those findings and said that Amazon had essentially overruled its pre-election decision, denying the company’s request to provide some sort of box-like device, so that the manual To help in ensuring safe collection of ballot papers during elections.

Ms Henderson wrote: “I specifically declined the employer’s suggestions to make voting ‘easier’ because the employer is neither responsible for conducting the election nor authorized or authorized to assist with the process.” Is.”

She continued: “The employer ignored the spirit of my instruction by demanding the installation of a one-way postal mailbox.”

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