Amazon Accused of Threatening Employees in Union Election Process | Business

Amazon violated US labor laws during a union vote in the state of Alabama, according to an initial assessment by a regional official at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), responsible for overseeing labor relations in the country. The agency also recommends that employees of the warehouse in the city of Bessemer take a new vote to decide on unionization.


Orders at a distribution center (Image: Publicity/Amazon)

The assessment is still preliminary and has no legal effect until a final decision is taken by the agency’s regional director. The company says it will send its version before the verdict. After that, it is still possible to appeal to the national board, where a group of commissioners can hear the case.

The initial election, held last April, had the victory of non-unionization. The number of votes against was more than double the number in favour. The Retail, Wholesale, Department Stores Union (RWDSU), however, claimed that Amazon interfered with workers’ right to a free and fair vote.

RWDSU has registered 23 objections against the company. In one, the union says that Amazon has placed a mailbox for depositing bills in a parking lot with security cameras. In the collective’s words, this created an “impression of surveillance”. The NLRB had not authorized this urn. The authority’s report says that “employees had reason to believe that the employer could observe who accessed the urn or deposited their cell.”

The NLRB’s authority proved the union right. Stuart Appelbaum, president of RWDSU, said convincing evidence was presented at the hearing that Amazon violated US labor laws by trying to interfere and intimidate workers seeking their right to form a union.

Delivery van (Image: Publicity/Amazon)

Delivery van (Image: Publicity/Amazon)

Amazon, however, says it will present its version so that the results of the first vote are kept. “Our employees had the opportunity to be heard during a noisy period when all kinds of voices were interfering with the national debate. In the end, they voted hard to connect directly with their managers,” said a spokesperson in a statement shared with the gadget.

Working conditions at Amazon are under scrutiny

The formation of a union at the Bessemer warehouse would be the first initiative of its kind for Amazon workers in the US. Since the defeat, other entities have announced plans to unionize company workers in other parts of the US. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters union announced in June a national campaign to incorporate company workers; the group has more than 1.4 million members in the US and Canada.

Working conditions at Amazon are also the target of much criticism and lawsuits. How do you remember the CNET, the NLRB would be considering investigating the company for firing or punishing those organizing protests and marches. In addition, she has been sued by officials who allege discrimination and harassment based on race and gender.

Warehouse workers have filed suits to charge wage deductions for time spent waiting in lines or walking to break rooms away from workplaces. The company has also been sued for denying lunch breaks. Investigations of the The Intercept show that the company is aware that delivery van drivers leave feces and urine in cars in order to meet targets. The deliverymen also started to be monitored full time by cameras that use artificial intelligence.

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