According to the announcement, the National Labor Relations Board published a notice Thursday outlining intentions for a second vote among Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama. The intended follow-up would be undertaken via the United States Postal Service (USPS), with ballots being shipped out on February 4 and tabulated on March 28.
Following Amazon’s landslide victory against unionization in the first poll, the National Labor Relations Board’s 10th area director stated late last year that a second vote would be held. According to a notice published by the National Labor Relations Board, the election that began on February 8, 2021, was halted because the National Labor Relations Board determined that the employer interfered with the employees’ exercise of a free and reasoned choice by causing a mailbox to be installed outside the Employer’s main entrance and by improperly polling employees’ support during mandatory meetings, among other things. The results of this election will be announced in line with the rules of this Notice for a Second Election. All eligible voters should be aware that the National Labor Relations Act, as modified, grants them the freedom to cast their votes in whatever manner they deem appropriate and protects them in the exercise of this right from interference by any of the political parties in the United States.
The decision to allow for a second vote came from objections from the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, which claimed that Amazon had violated the voice by erecting an on-site mailbox and “vote no” signs around the property. The corporation has long maintained that the refusal of its fulfillment center employees to form a union is a reflection of their wishes.
“Our workers have always had the option of whether or not to join a union, and they overwhelmingly elected not to join the RWDSU earlier this year,” a spokesman for the firm told TechCrunch at the time. Regrettably, the National Labor Relations Board has now concluded that their votes should not be taken into consideration.”
The RWDSU voiced concerns about in-person voting during the original referendum, citing both pandemic fears and the possibility of voter coercion as reasons for doing so. It has been decided that the new vote will be held in secret.
In response to this morning’s announcement, the RWDSU provided TechCrunch with the following statement: “Amazon’s misbehavior during the first union election contaminated the outcome to the point that the NLRB invalidated the results and mandated a second election for employees in Bessemer, Alabama.” We are pretty worried that the ruling does not go far enough in preventing Amazon from engaging in undesirable activity in the case of re-election. We submitted to the National Labor Relations Board a variety of remedies that may have made the process more equitable for employees. Still, these remedies were not included in the Notice of Election published today. It is possible and necessary for workers’ opinions to be heard correctly, free of the constraints imposed by Amazon’s boundless capacity to manipulate what must be a fair and accessible election, and we will continue to hold them responsible for their actions.
A statement from TechCrunch said that Amazon workers have always had the option to join or not join a union and that they “overwhelmingly elected not to join the RWDSU last year,” according to TechCrunch. “We are looking forward to our staff in BHM1 having their opinions heard once again.”