Amazon.com Inc. illegally threatened to withhold raises and benefits from workers at two New York City warehouses if they voted to unionize, a judge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled, Daniel Wiessner reported for Reuters.
Photo Insert: Workers at Amazon's JFK8 fulfillment center in Staten Island voted to join the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) last April.
In a decision issued on Monday (Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, in Manila), Administrative Law Judge Benjamin Green said Amazon supervisors told workers that they would miss out on regularly scheduled raises and improved benefits if the company was forced into lengthy union negotiations.
US labor law prohibits employers from making threats or promises in order to discourage unionizing.
Workers at Amazon's JFK8 fulfillment center in Staten Island voted to join the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) last April, a first for the company in the United States. In May, employees at a smaller nearby storage facility rejected a union campaign.
Green said Amazon also violated federal labor law in 2021 by removing a post from an internal message board asking workers to sign a union-backed petition to make Juneteenth a paid holiday.
The board's general counsel, which acts as a prosecutor, is trying to use the case to convince the five-member board to ban mandatory anti-union meetings. So-called "captive audience" meetings have for decades been a common tool used by employers to discourage unionizing.
Green did not rule on that issue because administrative judges cannot make new legal precedent. But the board will likely take up the issue if Amazon appeals.