The National Labor Relations Board published a notice today outlining plans for a second vote among Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama. The intended follow-up would do using USPS mail-in ballots, which will be sent out on February 4 and counted on March 28. Following Amazon’s landslide victory against unionization, the head of the NLRB’s 10th region indicated late last year that a second vote would hold. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) emphasizes in a notification that:
The election, which began on February 8, 2021, was called off after the National Labor Relations Board determined that the Employer interfered with the employees’ right to make a free and informed decision by causing a mailbox to install outside the Employer’s main entrance and improperly polling employees’ support during mandatory meetings.
As a result, in accordance with the stipulations of this Notice of Second Election, a new election will hold. All eligible voters should be aware that the National Labor Relations Act, as modified, allows them the right to vote as they see fit and safeguards them from interference from any political party in doing so.
The decision to have a second vote came after the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union complained that Amazon had tampered with the vote by placing an on-site mailbox and “vote no” banners across the premises. The firm has long claimed that the fulfillment center workers’ refusal to unionize represented their will. “Our employees have always had the choice of whether or not to join a union, and they overwhelmingly elected not to join the RWDSU earlier this year,” a business spokesperson told TechCrunch at the time. The NLRB’s decision that their votes should not count is disheartening.”
The RWDSU highlighted concerns about in-person voting during the initial vote, citing both pandemic fears and potential voter coercion. The fresh election will hold by secret ballot. In the wake of this morning’s revelation, the RWDSU issued the following statement to TechCrunch: The NLRB invalidated the results and ordered a second election for workers in Bessemer, Alabama, due to Amazon’s misbehavior during the previous union election. We are gravely concerned that the ruling does not go far enough to prohibit Amazon from continuing its obnoxious behavior in the case of a new election.
We submitted a number of remedies to the NLRB that would have made the process more equitable for workers, but they were not included in the Notice of Election issued today. Workers’ voices can and must-hear fairly, free of Amazon’s limitless power over what must be a fair and free election, and we will continue to hold them accountable. “Our employees have always had the choice of whether or not to join a union, and they overwhelmingly opted not to join the RWDSU last year,” Amazon said in a statement to TechCrunch. We’re looking forward to hearing from our BHM1 team once more.”