US Retail Union Claims Amazon Interfered in Alabama vote

A workers union in Alabama has accused Amazon of engaging in practices that prevented a “free and fair” union election for one of its warehouses.

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union filed objections late on Friday to the National Labor Relations Board, accusing Amazon of interfering with a contentious union campaign held earlier in April. The campaign was held at the Bessemer warehouse in Alabama, where fewer than 30% of workers voted in favor of unionizing.

The filing submitted to the NLRB listed 23 objections involving Amazon’s behavior during the campaign, which took place for several months. These objections include allegations of employee intimidation and manipulation. A hearing has been scheduled to review these claims.

There are multiple claims surrounding the firing of a pro-union worker who passed out union cards in non-work areas, an act protected by federal labor law. 

A mailbox installed for employees to submit their ballots was also called into question, with the RWDSU presenting emails that show Amazon pressured the U.S. Postal Service to move the mailbox off facility property.

The RWDSU has claimed that these practices had a “chilling” effect on the unionization campaign, while Amazon maintains that they are guilty of no wrongdoing, and that the RWDSU is “misrepresenting facts to drive their own agenda.”

Labor unions have had some success in Amazon facilities in Europe, but there are currently no unionized Amazon warehouses in the continental U.S.. 

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