Amazon seeks to overturn union win, says vote was tainted

Amazon is in search of to overturn the historic union victory at one among its New York City warehouses, arguing in a authorized submitting Friday that union organizers and the National Labor Relations Board acted in a method that tainted the outcomes. It now desires to redo the election.

The e-commerce big listed 25 objections within the submitting obtained by The Associated Press, accusing organizers with the nascent Amazon Labor Union of intimidating employees to vote for the union, a declare an legal professional representing the group has referred to as “patently absurd.”

“The employees have spoken,” Eric Milner, the legal professional, mentioned in a press release Thursday after Amazon’s preliminary deliberate objections have been made public in one other authorized submitting.

“Amazon is choosing to ignore that, and instead engage in stalling tactics to avoid the inevitable — coming to the bargaining table and negotiating for a contract” on behalf of the employees, he mentioned.

Warehouse employees in Staten Island forged 2,654 votes — or about 55% — in favor of a union, giving the fledgling group sufficient assist to tug off a victory final Friday.

In one objection, Amazon mentioned organizers “intentionally created hostile confrontations in front of eligible voters,” by interrupting the obligatory conferences the corporate held to steer its staff to reject the union drive. In a submitting launched earlier this month, the corporate disclosed it spent about $4.2 million final yr on labor consultants.

In one other objection, Amazon focused organizers’ distribution of hashish to employees, saying the labor board “cannot condone such a practice as a legitimate method of obtaining support for a labor organization.” New York legalized the leisure use of marijuana final yr for these over 21. Milner, the legal professional representing the union, mentioned Amazon is greedy at straws.

Distributing hashish “is no different than distributing free t-shirts and it certainly did not act to interfere with the election,” he mentioned.

The firm additionally accused organizers of improperly polling employees.

The retailer had initially signaled it deliberate to problem the election outcomes due to a lawsuit the NLRB filed in March, during which the board sought to power Amazon to reinstate a fired worker who was concerned within the union drive.

Amazon pointed to the lawsuit in one among its objections filed Friday, saying the regional NLRB workplace that introduced the go well with “failed to protect the integrity and neutrality of its procedures,” and had created an impression of assist for the union by in search of reinstatement for the previous worker, Gerald Bryson.

“Based on the evidence we’ve seen so far, as set out in our objections, we believe that the actions of the NLRB and the ALU improperly suppressed and influenced the vote, and we think the election should be conducted again so that a fair and broadly representative vote can be had,” Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokesperson, mentioned in a press release Friday.

Bryson was fired within the early days of the pandemic after main a protest calling for the corporate to do extra to guard employees in opposition to COVID-19. While off the job in the course of the protest, Bryson obtained right into a dispute with one other employee and was later fired for violating Amazon’s vulgar-language coverage, in keeping with his legal professional Frank Kearl.

The NLRB didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. Its spokesperson, Kayla Blado, beforehand mentioned the unbiased company is permitted by Congress to implement the National Labor Relations Act.

“All NLRB enforcement actions against Amazon have been consistent with that Congressional mandate,” she mentioned.

In different objections, Amazon focused how the labor company carried out the election. It mentioned the company failed to regulate media presence across the voting space and didn’t have sufficient employees and gear, which the corporate says created lengthy traces and “discouraged many employees from voting in subsequent polling sessions.”

Meanwhile, each Amazon and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, a union that spearheaded a separate union drive in Bessemer, Alabama, have filed objections to that election. The last end result of the union vote in Alabama remains to be up within the air with 416 excellent challenged ballots within the steadiness. Initial outcomes present the union down by 118 votes, with nearly all of Amazon warehouse employees rejecting a bid to kind unionize.

RWDSU, which filed greater than 20 objections, mentioned in its submitting Thursday that its objections are “grounds to set the election aside.”

A listening to to overview the challenged ballots is anticipated to start within the coming weeks.

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