Syndicate claims Amazon illegally interfered with Alabama warehouse vote

A RWDSU union representative holds a sign outside an Amazon Fulfillment Depot in the middle of a union campaign on March 29, 2021 in Bessemer, Alabama.

Ilya Novelj | Getty Images

Amazon He illegally interfered in the recent union elections in an Alabama warehouse, according to a statement Thursday from the retail, wholesale and convenience store federation, the union, which organized the campaign.

RWDSU on Thursday Objections made before the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that Amazon “created an atmosphere of confusion, coercion and/or fear of retaliation and thus interfered with the free choice of employees” to join or refuse to join a union.

The complaint comes a week after the NLRB finished counting votes in a closely watched election at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Bessemer, Alabama. In the facility, known as BHM, union supporters opponents narrowly, but 416 opposition ballot papers remained. Of the counted votes, the number of anti-union votes increased by only 118 votes.

The NLRB will set a hearing to review the union’s objections.

RWDSU is capitalizing on momentum in the labor movement within Amazon and more broadly. Last week, workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York They voted by an overwhelming majority to form the first US Amazon consortium, although the company is expected to file objections in the coming days.

And in Bessemer, the margin has been tightened since last year, when workers took a preliminary vote on whether to join unions. In that election, conducted by mail ballot, a NLRB has been found Unlawful interference by Amazon.

After the second election, RWDSU filed 21 objections with the NLRB, accusing Amazon of threatening workers to close the warehouse if they organized. The union alleged that Amazon fired an employee who was an outspoken supporter of the union, and suspended another pro-union employee.

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RWDSU also accused Amazon of intimidating and monitoring BHM1 employees during the election.

“Amazon’s behavior must not go unchallenged, and workers in Bessemer, Alabama, must have their rights protected under the law,” Stuart Appelbaum, president of RWDSU, said in a statement.

Amazon representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

The NLRB could order a third election at the Bessemer facility, depending on evidence provided by RWDSU.

Watch: Amazon workers in Alabama vote against unions in closer vote

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