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New Vote Ordered at Amazon

Illegal activity has led to a revote in Bessemer Alabama

Brian Young's picture
Jan 11, 2022

Almost one year after a union vote at Amazon failed, following an illegal union-busting campaign by the company, RWDSU and Amazon will be doing battle once again in Bessemer Alabama.

The order issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that a new election will be held beginning on February 4th. Like the 2021 election, which began on February 8, 2021, this year’s vote will take place via mail-in ballots. The votes will be counted on March 28th.

“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,” said the NLRB in a statement. “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.”

As UCOMM previously reported, the NLRB threw out the Amazon vote after they found rampant violations of the election rules. The main issue was a post office box that Amazon set up on company property. The box was under constant surveillance by the company and Amazon officials were the only ones with a key to access it. Workers at the Bessemer warehouse were also subjected to an intense anti-union campaign that included being forced into captive audience meetings, receiving text messages that lied about what a union would do, and they even had anti-union posters placed in the stalls in the bathroom.

While a new election might seem like a good thing, the union that was involved in the first election RWDSU, seems wary about the election redo. In a statement they said:

“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. We are deeply concerned that the decision fails to adequately prevent Amazon from continuing its objectionable behavior in a new election. 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.”

Mike Elk, a labor reporter for the Payday Report, says that based on the statement released by RWDSU, they might not even put any effort into winning the election.

By allowing the election to go off with few changes to protect the true integrity of the vote, there is nothing to stop Amazon from using the same tactics to stop the union drive. The company is also in a much better position as in the last year, many of the pro-union workers have left the warehouse. This forced the union to basically start from scratch. Without the NLRB doing more to protect the rights of the workers to be free of undue pressure from the company, including fearing for their jobs, it is unlikely the union will win.  For a company with unlimited money, having to redo the election is really no penalty. To make matters worse, if it looks like the company could lose again there is nothing stopping them from breaking the law again and repeating the cycle over and over again. This is just more evidence that we need to pass the PRO Act and create real penalties for companies that violate labor law.  

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