NLRB official recommends new vote in failed Amazon union election

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Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, may get to vote again on whether to form the company’s first unionized warehouse in the US.

A hearing officer at the National Labor Relations Board’s Atlanta office determined after a multi-week hearing that Amazon interfered with the “conditions necessary to conduct a fair election” by installing a mailbox in front of the fulfillment center to collect employees’ mail-in ballots and offering employees anti-union badges and signs, Politico reported.

“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 Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which sought to represent the workers, stated in a release on Monday.

“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,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the RWDSU. “We support the hearing officer’s recommendation that the NLRB set aside the election results and direct a new election. Appelbaum called Amazon’s behavior throughout the election process “despicable.” “Amazon cheated, they got caught, and they are being held accountable,” he stated.

However, Amazon has denied wrongdoing and said it plans to appeal the decision. “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,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “Their voice should be heard above all else, and we plan to appeal to ensure that happens.”

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