It Has Been At Least Five Decades Since A Union Vote Was Re-Run By An NLRB Order. Will Amazon See One, In Alabama?

These cases mostly arose in the middle of the last century, or earlier. But they are instructive — and some of Amazon’s alleged labor policies here a half century later — for its Alabama drivers and warehouse workers, in particular. . . harken back to those awful, and oppresive days. [Most of the cases were during a time when civil rights marchers hadn’t yet safely crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge — to Selma, in truth.]

Here is what we know: a preliminary finding suggests that the NLRB staff review will lead to the full NLRB being asked to order a new election — in Alabama, due to Amazon’s open, egregious misconduct (creating a privately-[company]-controlled mail-in ballot box, on site — and capable of being monitored by management, to see who was voting).

.”. . .Throughout the NLRB hearing, we heard compelling evidence how Amazon tried to illegally interfere with and intimidate workers as they sought to exercise their right to form a union. We support the hearing officer’s recommendation that the NLRB set aside the election results and direct a new election,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the RWDSU, in a statement Monday.

In response to Monday’s news, an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement: “Our employees had a chance to be heard during a noisy time when all types of voices were weighing into the national debate, and at the end of the day, they voted overwhelmingly in favor of a direct connection with their managers and the company. Their voice should be heard above all else, and we plan to appeal to ensure that happens.”

Several of the union’s objections centered on the mailbox that Amazon installed earlier this year in the parking lot and urged employees to use to mail their ballots. While union elections are typically done in-person with NLRB officials present, due to the pandemic the NLRB allowed for voting by mail, over Amazon’s strenuous objections. ​The ballots, which were mailed to the homes of eligible employees, could be cast at any USPS mailbox. The union had cried foul over Amazon’s new mailbox ahead of the results.

According to the recommendation report, the officer said Amazon’s “unilateral decision to create, for all intents and purposes, an onsite collection box for NLRB ballots destroyed the laboratory conditions and justifies a second election. . . .”

We will follow this one — as it is. . . disheartening that here in the second decade of the 21st Century. . . such shenanigans still hold sway. Shame on Mr. Bezos. This is a “tone at the top” problem. Onward, smiling — in spite of myself. . . be excellent to one another. . . .


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