Amazon employees may get another chance to vote on unionization in Alabama, following an investigation showing the company violated the law.
Employees at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama voted on unionization, ultimately losing in April. The voting process was mired with controversy, however, with Amazon accused of bullyingemployees into voting “no,” with some 70.8% voting that way.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) investigated, and the official leading the investigation has said Amazon violated labor laws, according to Business Insider. The official is also recommending a new vote be held.
One of the points of contention was a mailbox Amazon had installed at the warehouse to serve as a drop box. The union behind the vote believed it had been installed to intimidate workers, and the NLRB had denied Amazon’s request to install it. Instead, the company appears to have pressured the USPS to install the mailbox.
“Worst yet, even though the NLRB definitively denied Amazon’s request for a drop box on the warehouse property, Amazon felt it was above the law and worked with the postal service anyway to install one,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the union, according to Business Insider. “They did this because it provided a clear ability to intimidate workers.”
The official’s recommendation that a new vote be held is not the final word, and will go to the NLRB’s regional director for a decision. Nonetheless, given the trouble Amazon has been in lately for its treatment of employees — stiffing drivers $62 million in tips and not paying employees for the time spent searching their bags — it’s unlikely the NLRB will be in a lenient mood.