Labor board authorizes new Amazon union vote




 

The director of the National Labor Relation Board's 10th region has authorized a new union election for workers at Amazon's Bessemer, Alabama fulfillment center. An NLRB representative has confirmed the decision with TechCrunch, which would see the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union getting a second chance to unionize workers at the site, following its defeat back in April.

The victory was a lopsided one for the mega-retailer, though the RWDSU immediately called shenanigans in what was expected to be a major test for unionizing efforts for blue collar tech workers. At the time, the union accused Amazon of "gaslighting" employees through "egregious and blatantly illegal action."

Amazon naturally denied the accusations, stating, "It's easy to predict the union will say that Amazon won this election because we intimidated employees, but that's not true. Our employees heard far more anti-Amazon messages from the union, policymakers, and media outlets than they heard from us."

RWDSU head Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement today that the new ruling serves as vindication for those earlier claims, "Today's decision confirms what we were saying all along - that Amazon's intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union in their workplace - and as the Regional Director has indicated, that is both unacceptable and illegal. Amazon workers deserve to have a voice at work, which can only come from a union."

A date for a new election has yet to be determined. It will, however, no doubt become another national flashpoint for unionization efforts that have only grown in momentum during the pandemic and subsequent economic slowdowns.

"The National Labor Relations Board will conduct a second secret ballot election among the unit employees," the board noted in its ruling. "Employees will vote whether they wish to be represented for purposes of collective bargaining by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The manner, date, time, and place of the election will be specified in a Notice of Second Election."

Amazon expressed displeasure at today's ruling. Spokesperson Kelly Nantel noted in a statement,

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