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National Labor Relations Board sets dates for second Amazon union vote in Bessemer

The NLRB said election ballots will be mailed to employees at the Amazon Fulfillment center beginning Feb. 4.

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The National Labor Relations Board has announced new union election dates for employees at Bessemer’s Amazon fulfillment center, scheduled near the anniversary of the previous election that The Board said Amazon intentionally interfered with.

In a Notice of Election issued Tuesday, the NLRB said election ballots will be mailed to employees at the Amazon Fulfillment center beginning Feb, 4. Returned ballots will be counted beginning Mar, 28., and will continue “on consecutive business days until completed,”, according to the NLRB.

In late November, The NLRB ordered a second union election for Amazon employees of Bessemer fulfillment center, stating in the 20-page decision that Amazon installed false ballot boxes, created an “impression of surveillance” surrounding the unionization efforts, and “engaged in an extensive campaign of polling employees and/or interrogating them with respect to their support for the Union.” in the time leading up to the first election.

“The election that commenced on February 8, 2021, was set aside because the National Labor Relations Board found the Employer interfered with the employees’ exercise of a free and reasoned choice by creating the appearance of irregularity in the election procedure by causing a mailbox to be installed outside the Employer’s main entrance and by improperly polling employees’ support during mandatory meetings,” The NLRB said in their Notice of Election Tuesday. “Therefore, a new election will be held in accordance with the terms of this Notice of Second Election. All eligible voters should understand the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, gives them the right to cast their ballots as they see fit and protects them in the exercise of this right, free from interference by any of the parties.”

In the direct aftermath of the first election’s results in April of 2021, petitioners at the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, who are conducting the unionization drive for Amazon employees in Bessemer, pointed to improprieties and misconduct committed by Amazon before and after the ballot counting had concluded and urged the NLRB to order a new election.

In a statement Tuesday, RWDSU said that the NLRB decision “fails to adequately prevent Amazon from continuing its objectionable behavior in a new election.”, and stated proposals brought by the union to remedy potential election interference by Amazon were not taken up in the new notice of election.

“Amazon’s misconduct during the first union election so tainted the outcome that the NLRB overturned the results and directed a second election for workers in Bessemer, Alabama,” RWDSU said. “We proposed to the NLRB a number of remedies that could have made the process fairer to workers, which were not taken up in the Notice of Election issued today. Workers’ voices can and must be heard fairly, unencumbered by Amazon’s limitless power to control what must be a fair and free election, and we will continue to hold them accountable for their actions.”

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In a statement Tuesday, Amazon spokesperson Barbara Agrait said that employees at the Bessemer Fulfillment center “Overwhelmingly chose not to join the RWDSU last year “and that Amazon looks forward to “Our team in BHM1 having their voices heard again.”

An unofficial total for the first union election in 2021 was 1,798 against and 738 for unionization.

Written By

John is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can contact him at [email protected] or via Twitter.

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