Dueling objections voiced following polarized Amazon union votes – TechCrunch


The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) today filed objections following another Bessemer, Alabama Union vote. Results of the election were not decisive but favored Amazon with a number of contested ballots left uncounted. Following union victory in the Staten Island vote, which was counted the same day, Amazon is voicing its own objections.

Formal objections to the Alabama vote have been submitted to the National Labor Relations Board four months after the RWDSU’s forced a makeup election at the site. This time out, results were much closer, though things broke in Amazon’s favor at a margin of 993 to 875, with 416 challenged ballots that could potentially make up the difference.

The RWDSU’s list of grievances is long, ranging from retaliation and intimidation of employees to surveillance, threatening closure of the site and discrepancies in its voter lists. The full list of complaints can be found here. Union President Stuart Appelbaum issued the following statement.

Workers at Amazon have endured a needlessly long and aggressive fight to unionize their workplace, with Amazon doing everything it can to spread misinformation and deceive workers. The company violated the law in the first election, and did so again in this re-run election, without any doubt. We will continue to hold Amazon accountable and ensure workers’ voices are heard. 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.

Amazon, meanwhile, expressed grievances with the NLRB following the results of the Staten Island vote last week. Those numbers were more decisive than Alabama’s, at 2,654 to 2,131, with 57 contested votes. Shortly after counting ended, the company issued a statement accusing the labor board of putting its thumb on the scale, telling TechCrunch, We’re disappointed with the outcome of the election in Staten Island because we believe having a direct relationship with the company is best for our employees. We’re evaluating our options, including filing objections based on the inappropriate and undue influence by the NLRB that we and others (including the National Retail Federation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce) witnessed in this election.”

Tomorrow’s initial filing deadline has been pushed back to April 22 on the strength of a filing in which the company noted “substantial” objections to the role unionizers played in the vote. It’s been a hard fought battle on both sides, with Amazon no doubt fearing a sort of chain reaction akin to what Starbucks has faced in recent months.



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