NLRB Overturns Amazon Union Election Results; Orders A Do-Over Vote

A regional NLRB office ruled today what many of us believed to be true: Amazon broke the law during a union election earlier this year.

Its behavior sent a dangerous and improper” signal to workers as they decided whether to vote for a union.

The New York Times reports:

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

The decision was widely expected after a hearing officer recommended in August that the results be thrown out and that a new election take place . . .

Roughly half of the nearly 6,000 eligible workers at the warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., cast ballots by mail in February and March on whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The tally against the unionization bid was two to one.

The union filed a formal objection to the election shortly after the results were announced in April, arguing that Amazon had undermined the conditions for a fair election by pressing the Postal Service to install a collection box at the warehouse, among other complaints. The union said the box, which was not authorized by the labor board, created the impression that Amazon was monitoring which workers voted.

In her decision Monday, the labor board’s regional director for the Atlanta region agreed, writing that Amazon ‘gave a strong impression that it controlled the process’ by arranging the installation of the box. ‘This dangerous and improper message to employees destroys trust in the board’s processes and in the credibility of the election results,’ the director, Lisa Y. Henderson, concluded.

Ms. Henderson also found that Amazon had improperly ‘polled’ employees — that is, it attempted to determine how they would vote — by notifying workers at mandatory meetings that they could take ‘vote no’ items such as pins that were laid out in full view of human resources officials.

Stuart Appelbaum, the union’s president, said in a statement on Monday that the decision showed that ‘Amazon’s intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union.”

For the rest of the story, visit The New York Times here.

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