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Union Holds Amazon Accountable for Illegal Conduct, Demands Full Review


(NEW YORK, NY) – Late Friday, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) filed Objections to the conduct of Amazon during the union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) charging that Amazon interfered with the right of its Bessemer, Alabama employees to vote in a free and fair election; a right protected under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.

 The RWDSU has requested that the NLRB Regional Director schedule a hearing on its Objections to determine if the results of the election should be set aside because conduct by the employer created an atmosphere of confusion, coercion and/or fear of reprisals and thus interfered with the employees' freedom of choice. 

The RWDSU filed 23 Objections, which the union believes both separately and cumulatively constitute grounds to set the election aside. 

The Objections constitute conduct which prevented a free and uncoerced exercise of choice by the employees, undermining the Board’s efforts to provide “a laboratory in which an experiment may be conducted, under conditions as nearly as ideal as possible, to determine the uninhibited desires of the employees.”  In re Jensen Enterprises, 339 NLRB 877 (2003) (citing General Shoe Corp., 77 NLRB 124 (1948)). 

Some Objections include: 

  • Collection Box Installation: The appearance that Amazon and not the NLRB controls the mechanics of the election:
    • Surveillance: Security cameras monitoring the collection box in the Amazon parking lot. 
    • Electioneering: Messaging on the collection box in the Amazon parking lot. 
    • Coercion and Ballot Harvesting: The company’s pressure campaign to get workers to bring their ballots to work and use the collection box the employer had installed.
  • Threatening Workplace Layoffs and Facility Closure: The company sent multiple messages to workers unlawfully threatening loss of business at the facility if workers voted for the union, which would incur significant layoffs or full facility closure. 
  • Loss of Pay and Benefits: The company threatened workers with losing their pay rate, health insurance, time off and retirement benefits if the union was voted in. 
  • Intimidation: the company identified and removed workers from mandatory captive-audience trainings who supported the union. 

These are some of the Objections the union has filed. Click here for the full list and details

Workers fighting for a voice and fair treatment in the workplace will await the results of the hearings on the objections to determine the final outcome of their union vote. After enduring an intensive anti-union campaign designed by Amazon to intimidate and manipulate, workers are seeking the chance to finally have a right to fair representation, a seat at the table and a real chance to fix the litany of issues that workers at Amazon have faced for far too long.

Last week, Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) issued the following statement on the objections and related charges the union is filing:

“Amazon has left no stone unturned in its efforts to gaslight its own employees. We won’t let Amazon’s lies, deception and illegal activities go unchallenged, which is why we are formally filing charges against all of the egregious and blatantly illegal actions taken by Amazon during the union vote today. Amazon knew full well that unless they did everything they possibly could, even illegal activity, their workers would have continued supporting the union. That’s why they required all their employees to attend lecture after lecture, filled with mistruths and lies, where workers had to listen to the company demand they oppose the union. That’s why they flooded the internet, the airwaves and social media with ads spreading misinformation. That’s why they brought in dozens of outsiders and union-busters to walk the floor of the warehouse. That’s why they bombarded people with signs throughout the facility and with text messages and calls at home. And that’s why they have been lying about union dues in a right to work state. Amazon’s conduct has been despicable.

"Worst yet, even though the NLRB definitively denied Amazon's request for a drop box on the warehouse property, Amazon felt it was above the law and worked with the postal service anyway to install one. They did this because it provided a clear ability to intimidate workers. 

“We demand a comprehensive investigation over Amazon's behavior in corrupting this election.

“Working people deserve better than the way Amazon has conducted itself during this campaign. This campaign has proven that the best way for working people to protect themselves and their families is to join together in a union. However, Amazon’s behavior during the election cannot be ignored and our union will seek remedy to each and every improper action Amazon took. We won’t rest until workers' voices are heard fairly under the law. When they are, we believe they will be victorious in this historic and critical fight to unionize the first Amazon warehouse in the United States.”

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The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) represents 100,000 members throughout the United States. The RWDSU is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). For more information, please visit our website at, Facebook:/RWDSU.UFCW Twitter:@RWDSU.


Click to read the full objections filing with the NLRB.