Amazon, labor organizers file objections to Alabama Union vote
Amazon said the agency erred in operations for the election, including not having enough staff to handle voting, which the company said created long lines and suppressed the participation.
“Based on the evidence we have seen so far, as noted in our objections, we believe that the actions of the NLRB and ALU improperly suppressed and influenced the vote, and we believe the election should be reorganized so that a fair and broadly representative vote can be obtained,” said Kelly Nantel, spokeswoman for Amazon, in a statement.
In another objection, the company said the union failed to file standard financial reports. In an interview with The Times this week, union president Christian Smalls said he had provided money to workers in need, both through separate GoFundMe efforts and union funds. .
If a worker needed their bills paid, “we’re paying that bill, we’re definitely sending money,” Mr Smalls said. Legal experts said some of these deals – such as extra pay for union organizers sick with Covid-19 – might be fine, but others could cause problems depending on when and how many people have them. received.
But the NLRB “rarely” cancels elections over allegations of union misconduct, said John Logan, a professor at San Francisco State University who studies employer campaigns. Amazon will have to prove that any wrongful conduct could have altered the outcome of the election, he said, and “unlike Amazon, the ALU has no coercive power over employees.”
The employment agency granted Amazon a two-week extension, until April 22, to provide additional evidence to support the objections.
In Bessemer, Alabama, the union lagged slightly in the initial vote tally announced March 31: 993 workers voted against representation by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, and 875 voted in favor. But more than 400 ballots have yet to be counted because they were disputed by one side or the other. Those disputed ballots, enough to potentially affect the outcome, are expected to be resolved at a labor board hearing in the coming weeks.