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NLRB official recommends new union vote for Amazon’s Bessemer facility

The official said Amazon’s anti-union tactics interfered with workers’ rights. A final decision could take several weeks.

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A National Labor Relations Board official on Monday recommended that the union vote at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Bessemer should be redone, finding that Amazon’s anti-union tactics improperly interfered with workers’ rights to vote. 

“The parties will now have an opportunity to file exceptions after which the Acting Regional Director will review the recommendations in the report and issue her decision on whether she will order a new election,” an NLRB spokesperson said in a message to APR. A final decision is expected to take several weeks. 

“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,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union in a statement.  “We support the hearing officer’s recommendation that the NLRB set aside the election results and direct a new election. As President Biden reminded us earlier this year, the question of whether or not to have a union is supposed to be the workers’ decision and not the employer’s. Amazon’s behavior throughout the election process was despicable. Amazon cheated, they got caught, and they are being held accountable.”

Amazon workers voted 1,798 to 738 against unionizing, but the union appealed the results, alleging Amazon used numerous anti-union tactics, which the company has denied. 

The union objected to Amazon convincing the Post Office to put a ballot drop box outside the fulfillment center where they said workers would feel intimidated while casting their votes.

The Intercept reported that Amazon hired Russell Brown, a longtime anti-union consultant and president of a think tank supported by the billionaire Koch family’s network, at the rate of $3,200 per day.

“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,” said an Amazon spokesperson in a message to APR. “Their voice should be heard above all else, and we plan to appeal to ensure that happens.”

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Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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