Amazon Ordered to Hold Another Union Vote in Alabama

America's National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) "has ordered a new union election for Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama," reports the Associated Press, "based on objections to the first vote that took place in April." The move, announced Monday, is a major blow to Amazon, which had spent about a year aggressively campaigning for warehouse workers in Bessemer to reject the union, which they ultimately did by a wide margin.... In a 20-page decision, the regional director for the NLRB focused much attention on Amazon's installation of a U.S. Postal Service mail box at the main employee entrance, which may have created the false impression that the company was the one conducting the election process. The regional director also refuted Amazon's position that it was making voting easier and was trying to encourage as high a turnout as possible. "The employer's flagrant disregard for the board's typical mail-ballot procedure compromised the authority of the board and made a free and fair election impossible," according to the decision. "By installing a postal mailbox at the main employee entrance, the employer essentially highjacked the process and gave a strong impression that it controlled the process. This dangerous and improper message to employees destroys trust in the board's processes and in the credibility of the election results...." A repeat of the election means another battle for Amazon with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (or RWDSU). The first election garnered nationwide attention and put a spotlight on how Amazon treats its workers. It was the biggest union push in Amazon's history and only the second time that an organizing effort from within the company had come to a vote. In the first vote, 47% of the workers ultimately didn't cast a ballot.

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