The U.S. National Labor Relations Board announced Tuesday that it would send union ballots to workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama on February 4 to set the stage for the online retailer’s next labor competition .
According to a notice released by the NLRB, votes will be counted from March 28 in the postal vote, which is a re-run after the NLRB discovered last year that Amazon intervened. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Stores Union (RWDSU) tried to represent workers.
The review of working conditions at Amazon has intensified in recent months, with some employees trying to organize themselves in facilities in New York and Canada. A win in just one warehouse would be a milestone that labor experts say could reinvigorate the US labor movement.
In a statement, Amazon spokeswoman Barbara Agrait said, “Our employees have always had a choice of whether to join a union or not, and they decided by an overwhelming majority not to join RWDSU last year. We look forward to our team being heard again in the (warehouse). “
In last year’s census, Bessemer warehouse workers were more than 2: 1 opposed to forming a union. The organizing campaign had support from US lawmakers and President Joe Biden.
Then, in August, a hearing officer from the NLRB found that the company had intervened in the vote. As an example, the official said workers may have felt they were being watched as they dropped voting papers in a mailbox on Amazon’s property that the company encouraged them to use. Amazon also put a campaign slogan around the mailbox. An NLRB regional director, Lisa Henderson, officially requested a rerun in November.
In an order accompanying the NLRB’s election notice on Tuesday, Henderson said that the same mailbox for the upcoming voting would be in a “neutral location” on Amazon’s property and that no party would post a banner around it or issue instructions on how to use it could.
RWDSU said it was still concerned that Amazon would “continue its obnoxious behavior in a new election.” He is particularly concerned that the same voting mailbox will remain on Amazon’s property, which he believes will create the impression of surveillance undermining a free and fair election.
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