Union files objections to Alabama Amazon election

The union seeking to represent workers at Amazon’s Bessemer, Ala., warehouse filed objections Thursday evening to the e-commerce giant’s conduct during the facility’s recent unionization election.

The results of the election may not be known for several weeks, as the current vote tally — 993 votes against unionizing have been counted versus 875 “yes” votes — could be swung by the 416 ballots that were contested.

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), which would represent the workers in Bessemer in the event of a win, claimed Thursday that Amazon interfered in the voting process.

The union filed 21 objections that it believes “both separately and cumulatively constitute grounds to set the election aside.”

The objections include allegations that Amazon barred organizers from posting campaign literature in work areas and removed literature in nonwork areas.

The RWDSU also alleges that Amazon terminated an employee that spoke up in favor of unionization during a so-called captive audience meeting — a mandatory anti-union meeting held during work hours — and suspended another who openly supported voting “yes.”

Amazon created the impression it was surveilling workers engaging in protected activity both inside and outside the facility, the union claims.

The company also allegedly threatened at least one worker with the prospect of shutting down the facility in the event of unionization, a tactic which is illegal under the National Labor Relations Act.

“We are filing objections on Amazon’s behavior during this election, which include countless attempts to intimidate workers, even going so far as to terminate and suspend workers who supported the union,” RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement. 

“Amazon’s behavior must not go unchallenged, and workers in Bessemer, Alabama must have their rights protected under the law.”

Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in a statement to The Hill that the company has “said from the beginning that we want our employees’ voices to be heard, and we hope the [National Labor Relations Board] counts every valid vote.”

The RWDSU was already successful in having the results of the first union election held at the Bessemer warehouse in 2021 set aside.

The National Labor Relations Board determined after hearing objections that Amazon had interfered in that vote by pushing for a mailbox to be installed on the premises and improperly polling support.

[Source]
Author: Chris Mills Rodrigo