NLRB official says Amazon violated labor law in union vote, recommends new election, according to union

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NLRB official says Amazon violated labor law in union vote, recommends new election, according to union
The mailbox outside Amazon's warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, that prompted allegations from the RWDSU that the company was trying to manipulate the election. Supplied by the RWDSU.
  • An NLRB official found Amazon violated labor during its union election, according to the union.
  • As a result, the official recommended that a new election should be held.
  • An NLRB regional director will now make a formal decision about whether to hold a second election.

The National Labor Relations Board official overseeing the union election at Amazon's warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, recommended on Monday that a new election be held, according to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

"In a final step towards a formal decision, the Hearing Officer who presided over the case has determined that Amazon violated labor law; and is recommending that the Regional Director set aside the results of the election and direct a second election," the RWDSU, under which Amazon's workers would unionize, said in a statement.

The decision is not final, however. It now heads to the NLRB's regional director for Region 10, which includes Alabama, who will make a formal decision about whether to adopt the hearing officer's recommendations.

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If the regional director agrees, the NLRB will issue an order tossing out the results of the original election, in which Amazon employees voted 1,798 to 738 against unionizing, with 505 ballots challenged and 76 voided, and will conduct a new election.

"Throughout the NLRB hearing, we heard compelling evidence how Amazon tried to illegally interfere with and intimidate workers as they sought to exercise their right to form a union. We support the hearing officer's recommendation that the NLRB set aside the election results and direct a new election," the RWDSU president Stuart Appelbaum said in the statement.

"As President Biden reminded us earlier this year, the question of whether or not to have a union is supposed to be the workers' decision and not the employer's. Amazon's behavior throughout the election process was despicable. Amazon cheated, they got caught, and they are being held accountable."

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"Our employees had a chance to be heard during a noisy time when all types of voices were weighing into the national debate, and at the end of the day, they voted overwhelmingly in favor of a direct connection with their managers and the company. Their voice should be heard above all else, and we plan to appeal to ensure that happens," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement to Insider.

Following the initial election period, in which Amazon aggressively campaigned against the union, the RWDSU filed 23 formal objections to Amazon's conduct, accusing it of violating labor laws by interfering with the voting process and trying to pressure workers into voting against forming a union.

One of the union's major objections revolved around a mailbox that Amazon executives had pushed the USPS to install outside its warehouse, prompting concerns that the mailbox could be perceived as a way to deter workers from voting in favor of a union.

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Amazon had denied those allegations, previously telling Insider that "rather than accepting these employees' choice, the union seems determined to continue misrepresenting the facts in order to drive its own agenda."

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