A hearing officer for the National Labor Relations Board has recommended that the board cancel a union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala. Result Workers, announced in early April, rejected a union by a more than two-to-one ratio.
The union announced the recommendation on Monday, and Amazon immediately said it would take steps to ensure the original election result prevails.
The hearing officer’s recommendation, which includes holding a new election, will be reviewed by the agency’s acting regional director, who will issue a decision on the matter in the coming weeks. If regional directors rule against Amazon, the company could appeal to the Labor Board in Washington.
The union campaign at the warehouse, which had more than 5,000 qualified employees, was the highest-profile home organizing effort ever at Amazon, which has a history to stop aggressively activist activism.
Union, retail, wholesale and department store union challengers accused Amazon of engaging in unfair labor practices to prevent workers from unionizing.
Union president Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement, “During the NLRB hearing, we heard compelling evidence of how Amazon tried to illegally intervene and intimidate workers as they exercised their right to unionize. had demanded.” “We support the hearing officer’s recommendation that the NLRB set aside the election results and direct a fresh election.”
The union first submitted the paperwork for the election in November, and voting took place by mail between the beginning of February and the end of March.
The union repeatedly complained during the campaign that the company was intimidating and threatening the employees.
Amazon disputed the allegations and continues to do so.
An Amazon spokesperson said, “Our employees got a chance to be heard during a noisy time when all kinds of voices were weighing in on the national debate, and at the end of the day, they heavily favor a direct relationship with their managers. Voted.” said in a statement on Monday. “Their voice must be heard above all, and we plan to appeal to ensure that.”
Wilma b. Liebman, who chaired the Labor Board under President Barack Obama, said regional directors usually follow the recommendations of hearing officers in such cases.
About a week after the Labor Board announced the results in April, the union filed a formal objection to the conduct of the election and asked the board to reverse it. A board official held a three-week hearing in which both sides called witnesses and examined them.
The union’s objection argued that Amazon consultants and employee relations managers had created an atmosphere of fear by identifying and removing employees from mandatory anti-union meetings when questioned by company executives, and by telling employees that they would not be eligible for pay, benefits or Even take the risk of losing your job. Union was established.
The union also argued that Amazon consultants and managers had illegally asked workers how they wanted to vote, and that Amazon fired a union supporter for distributing union cards. It said the company took a number of measures – such as raising wages and delivering goods – to ease pressure from a union. this is Illegal to take such steps Once the union campaign is going on.
The union’s objection focused heavily on an on-site collection box that Amazon repeatedly pushed US Postal Service to set up shortly before voting begins. The union said the box had not been authorized by the Labor Relations Board. Amazon has said it pushed for the box to make it easier for employees to vote and not have access to the ballots that workers put inside.
The union argued that the presence of the collection box gave workers the impression that Amazon was monitoring who voted, and possibly even how they voted.
It is not clear whether the Sangh will improve its performance when elections resume. Labor law allows companies to hold frequent mandatory anti-union meetings, and Mr. Appelbaum, chairman of retail employees, said. Said High turnover in the warehouse was a significant obstacle to the union campaign.