FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 7, 2021
Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259
RWDSU FILES NLRB ELECTION OBJECTIONS
Union Holds Amazon Accountable for Illegal Conduct in Union Election Again, Demands Full Review
(NEW YORK, NY) – Today, 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 Objections, which the union believes both separately and cumulatively constitute grounds to set the election aside. The election in 2021 was set aside by the NLRB after the agency found that Amazon had acted illegally under the NLRA. The objections filed yesterday have the potential to do so again and will be heard by the NLRB alongside the parties’ arguments surrounding 416 ballots challenged by the parties during the vote tabulation last week. The hearing has yet to be scheduled by the NLRB.
The Objections filed yesterday 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:
Termination of & Retaliation Against Union Supporters:
- The Employer unlawfully and/or discriminatorily suspended an employee whose photograph and open support for the Union appeared in Union campaign literature distributed to all eligible voters.
- The Employer unlawfully and/or discriminatorily terminated an employee who spoke in support of the Union during captive audience meetings and who appeared in pro-Union literature distributed to all eligible employees.
- The Employer’s agent and supervisor discriminated and retaliated against employees for wearing pro-union buttons or expressing support for the Union. The supervisor told one pro-union employee not to speak with her because “she’s with the devil.” This supervisor created the impression of surveillance and/or actively engaged in surveillance of the protected activities of employees under her supervision.
- The Employer identified and removed workers from mandatory captive-audience trainings who supported the union.
- The Employer unlawfully and/or discriminatorily suspended an employee who openly supported and campaigned in favor of the Union for conduct during a captive audience meeting.
- The Employer unlawfully and/or discriminatorily threatened or warned an employee with disciplinary action for campaigning in support of the Union.
- The Employer’s agents unlawfully and/or discriminatorily singled out an employee wearing a pro-union button in front of other employees during a break and requested the employee’s name.
- The Employer unlawfully and/or discriminatorily threatened an open and strong supporter of the Union that if he had another argument with a co-worker regarding the organizing campaign that he would be terminated. As a result of the threat and/or unlawful imposition of a work rule, the employee refrained from talking to co-workers about supporting the Union.
- During the critical period before the due date for receipt of mail ballots and throughout the election, the Employer required all eligible voters to attend anti-union meetings.
- The Employer’s agents engaged in surveillance and/or created the impression of surveillance of employees engaged in protected concerted activities in the employee parking lot.
- The Employer’s agents engaged in surveillance and/or created the impression of surveillance of employees engaged in protected concerted activities in the employee break room and/or other non-work areas.
- The Employer’s agents followed and/or otherwise engaged in surveillance of Petitioner’s organizers as they visited employee homes.
The Employer unlawfully and/or discriminatorily applied a rule prohibiting employees from discussing the Union with co-workers during working hours and/or in working areas:
- The Employer unlawfully interfered with an employee engaged in protected activities in the employee break room.
Promulgation of new rules and removal of pro-union literature:
- The Employer discriminatorily applied a rule prohibiting the posting of campaign literature in work areas.
- The Employer’s agents unlawfully and/or discriminatorily removed literature supporting the Union from non-work areas.
- The Employer knowingly permitted employees opposing the organizing drive to post anti-union messages in work areas but denied employees supporting the union from posting pro-union messages in the same work areas.
- The Employer discriminatory enforced a rule prohibiting non-employee organizers from engaging in campaign related activities in the employee parking lot.
- The Employer unlawfully and/or discriminatorily imposed a new access rule prohibiting employees from arriving at BHM1 30 minutes prior to the start of their shift or remaining on the premises of BHM1 more than 30 minutes after the end of their shift.
Voter List Discrepancies:
- The Employer provided the Union with a voter list that contained substantial errors. Approximately twenty percent of the addresses of eligible voters listed on the voter list were incorrect.
Threatening of Facility Closure:
- The Employer unlawfully threatened an employee with plant closure if the Union was voted in as the collective bargaining representative of the employees.
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 and on the 416 ballots, which were challenged during the tabulation process 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 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.
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:
“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’s behavior must not go unchallenged, and workers in Bessemer, Alabama must have their rights protected under the law. We urge the NLRB to carefully review our objections and ensure no company, not even with the bottomless pockets of Amazon, is allowed to act above the law.”
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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 www.rwdsu.org, Facebook:/RWDSU.UFCW Twitter:@RWDSU.