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NLRB Preliminary Findings Revives Trade Unions at Amazon | WGN Radio 720

New York (AP) — The recommendation to invalidate the results of the Amazon union vote in Bessemer, Alabama is breathing new life into the labor movement.

The recommendation was issued by a hearing officer of the National Labor Relations Board on Monday. He said Amazon may have blocked the April elections, when warehouse workers overwhelmingly rejected the union proposal.

Labor experts say that hearing officers rarely demand new elections, but in the case of Amazon, it is quite possible that this will happen because the NLRB regional director usually sticks to hearing officers’ guidance. ..

In addition, Labor Relations Commission standards in deciding new elections favor unions rather than Amazon. According to the preliminary opinion on page 61 submitted by the hearing officer, the board of directors rationalized the company’s “free and unforced choices of employees in elections,” rather than whether the company actually forced employees. You need to determine if you have a tendency to interfere with the situation. Kirstin Myers.

“They are investigating whether there was any act that prevented employees from choosing freely,” said William Gould, a law professor at Stanford Law School and former chairman of NRLB from 1994 to 1998. Stated. Believe that your employer controls the process. The process is controlled by the government, a fair third party, not the employer. “

In a submission to NLRB in April, the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Coalition, which led the union campaign in Bessemer, threatened workers with layoffs and closed warehouses if workers joined the union. He said there was even. Amazon also said it had fired an employee in favor of the union, but did not reveal the person’s name.

Many of the union’s other claims revolve around mailboxes that Amazon has set up in the parking lot of the Bessemer warehouse. The mailbox said it created the false appearance that Amazon was holding an election and threatened workers to vote against the union. According to retailers, parking security cameras may have recorded workers going to the mailbox, giving the impression that workers were being monitored by the company and their votes were not private. I have.

Myers wrote that in making her nominations, the NLRB must consider several factors, including the number of cases. The seriousness of the incident and whether they can cause fear to the employees of the voting unit.

“Evidence shows that employer behavior interfered with the laboratory conditions needed to conduct fair elections,” Myers wrote.

Still, labor experts predict that the final result can take months, and there are many complaints from both sides. And for many, Amazon still wins, given the high turnover of workers in company warehouses, making it difficult for union efforts to gain momentum, even if there is a redo. I believe I will.

Kent Wong, director of the UCLA Labor Center, said: “But it will still be a difficult battle to secure an election victory.”

Alexander Corbin, a professor of labor relations, law and history at Cornell University, said Amazon could appeal even if the union wins.

“They could somehow claim that the elections were polluted,” he said. “They have many abilities to procedurally pull it out and not engage in negotiations.”

The process of drawing conclusions is expected to be lengthy.

Both Amazon and RWDSU may provide answers to the hearing advisor’s recommendations. Next, the NLRB Regional Director needs to review the recommendations and make a decision as to whether a new election will be ordered. According to the Labor Relations Commission, the decision can take weeks, and both parties can appeal the decision to Washington’s full NLRB Commission.

So far, Amazon has shown that it’s ready to fight, and at the end of Monday, employees said they “overwhelmingly voted in favor of direct connections with their bosses and the company.” Announced. Their voice should be heard above all else, and we will urge it to be done. “

The Democratic Workplace Union, which represents more than 600 major corporate organizations, including the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Restaurant Association, has condemned NLRB’s preliminary recommendations that could overturn the will of Amazon workers.

“It’s a shame that the NLRB is considering setting aside the will of American workers to support Big Labor,” Kristen Swaringen, chairman of the coalition, said in a statement.

RWDSU President Stuart Applebaum was not surprised by the hearing’s recommendations and said the union was more likely to win if another election was held. He says the union is still on the scene in Bessemer and is seeing further union pro-growth among workers.

“Amazon may have won the first vote, but they’re losing debate around the world,” Applebaum said.

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Follow Anne D’Innocenzio: http://twitter.com/ADInnocenzio



NLRB Preliminary Findings Revives Trade Unions at Amazon | WGN Radio 720

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