Labor council clears new Amazon union vote – TechCrunch

The National Labor Relation Board’s 10th region director authorized a new union election for workers at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama. An NLRB representative confirmed the decision with TechCrunch, which would give the Retail, Wholesale and Department Stores Union a second chance to organize workers at the site, following its loss in April.

The victory was unbalanced for the mega-retailer, although the RWDSU immediately called up the shenanigans in what was to be a major test for blue-collar organizing efforts. At the time, the union accused Amazon of “lighting the gas” on employees with “flagrant and clearly illegal actions.”

Amazon naturally denied the charges, saying, “It’s easy to predict the union will say Amazon won this election because we bullied the employees, but that’s not true. Our employees have heard far more anti-Amazon messages from the union, policymakers and the media than they have heard from us. “

RWDSU chief Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement today that the new ruling served as a rationale for those earlier demands: “Today’s ruling confirms what we have been saying from the start – that intimidation and Amazon’s interference prevented workers from having a say in whether they wanted a union. in their place of work – and as the regional director pointed out, this is both unacceptable and illegal. Amazon workers deserve to have a voice at work, which can only come from a union. “

The date of a new election has not yet been determined. However, this will undoubtedly become another national hotspot for organizing efforts that only gained momentum during the pandemic and the economic downturns that followed.

“The National Council of Labor Relations will conduct a second election by secret ballot among the employees of the unit,” noted the council in its decision. “Employees will vote if they wish to be represented for collective bargaining purposes by the Union of Retailers, Wholesalers and Department Stores. The mode, date, time and place of the election will be specified in a notice of the second election.

Amazon has expressed dissatisfaction with today’s decision. Spokeswoman Kelly Nantel noted in a statement,

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. It is disappointing that the NLRB has now decided that these votes should not count. As a company, we don’t think unions are the best answer for our employees. Every day, we empower people to find ways to improve their work, and when they do, we want to make those changes, quickly. This type of continuous improvement is more difficult to do quickly and nimbly with unions in the middle. The benefits of direct manager-employee relationships cannot be overstated: these relationships allow every employee’s voice to be heard, not just the privileged few. While we’ve made great strides in important areas like Compensation and Safety, we know there is a lot we can continue to improve, both in our distribution centers and in our offices, and it is our goal: to work directly with our employees to continue to improve every day.


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