UNION RAPS AMAZON FOR ILLEGALLY MEDDLING WITH VOTE
The retail union that failed to organize Amazon workers at an Alabama warehouse wants the results of a recent vote to be thrown out, saying that the company illegally interfered with the process, Joseph Pisani reported for the Associated Press (AP).
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) said in a filing that Amazon threatened workers with layoffs and even the closing of the warehouse if they were unionized. It also said Amazon fired a pro-union employee, but declined to name the person.
Many of the other allegations by the union revolve around a mailbox that Amazon installed in the parking lot of the Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse. It said the mailbox created the false appearance that Amazon was conducting the election, intimidating workers into voting against the union.
Security cameras in the parking lot could have recorded workers going to the mailbox, giving the impression that workers were being watched by the company and that their votes weren’t private, according to the retail union.
Amazon spokeswoman Heather Knox said that the company did not threaten layoffs and that she couldn’t verify if an employee was fired without a name.
She said the mailbox was installed to make it easier for employees to vote and that only the US Postal Service had access to it.
“Rather than accepting these employees’ choice, the union seems determined to continue misrepresenting the facts in order to drive its own agenda,” Knox said in a statement.
“We look forward to the next steps in the legal process.”
Workers overwhelmingly voted against forming a union, with 1,798 rejecting it and 738 voting in favor of it. A total of 3,117 votes were cast, about 53% of the nearly 6,000 workers at the warehouse.
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