NLRB Rules Amazon Workers in Alabama Will Revote on Unionization

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has approved a new union election at one of Amazon’s Alabama warehouses this week. The warehouse workers voted against unionization in April, but following complaints to the federal agency, a revote has been ordered.

CNBC reports that the NLRB has authorized a new union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, known as BHM1. In April, workers at the warehouse voted against joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy (Isaac Brekken/AP)

Jeff Bezos holds goggles to his face (Joe Raedle /Getty)

The union has since argued that Amazon illegally interfered in the election, resulting in a legal battle in which the NLRB ruled in the union’s favor. NLRB spokesperson Kayla Blado confirmed to CNBC that the agency has ordered a new election.

At the initial unionization vote of BHM1 in April, employees rejected forming a union with less than 30 percent of votes favoring joining the RWDSU. The RWDSU challenged the results, claiming that Amazon illegally interfered in the election and began a protracted legal battle with months of hearings examining the company’s actions in the time leading up to the vote.

People hold placards during a protest in support of Amazon workers in Union Square, New York on February 20, 2021. (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

A major issue that RWDSU had was that Amazon installed a mailbox on-site at the facility which the union argued created a false appearance that Amazon was conducting the election and intimidated workers into voting against the union.

In August, an NLRB hearing officer suggested that the results be set aside and another vote should take place, Amazon said it would appeal the decision at the time. Region 10 Director Lisa Henderson issue the decision and directions for a second election at BHM1 this week.

Henderson wrote in her decision: “I agree with the hearing officer’s recommendations. Accordingly, I affirm the hearing officer’s rulings, I adopt her recommendation to sustain certain objections, and I order a second election.”

An Amazon spokesperson told CNCB that the company disagrees with the NLRB’s decision and that Amazon doesn’t think unions are the answer for its employees.

“Our employees have always had the choice of whether or not to join a union, and they overwhelmingly chose not to join the RWDSU earlier this year,” the Amazon spokesperson said. “It’s disappointing that the NLRB has now decided that those votes shouldn’t count.”

Union President Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement: “Today’s decision confirms what we were saying all along – that Amazon’s intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union in their workplace – and as the Regional Director has indicated, that is both unacceptable and illegal. Amazon workers deserve to have a voice at work, which can only come from a union.”

Read more at CNBC here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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