According to a notice published by the NLRB, the counting of votes in the mail-ballot election, which is re-run by the NLRB following Amazon’s intervention last year, will begin on March 28. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) is demanding representation of the workers.
Investigations into working conditions at Amazon have intensified in recent months, with some employees seeking to organize facilities in New York and Canada. Labor experts say even a warehouse victory would be a milestone that could strengthen the American labor movement.
In a statement, Amazon spokeswoman Barbara Agritt said, “Our employees always have the option of whether or not to join a union, and they decided not to join RWDSU last year. I look forward to hearing his voice again.”
In last year’s count, Bessemer warehouse workers rejected unionization by a margin of more than 2-to-1. The organizing campaign was supported by US lawmakers and President Joe Biden.
Then in August, a hearing officer from the NLRB determined that the company had interfered with the vote. For example, the official said workers may have realized they were being surveyed when leaving ballots in mailboxes on Amazon property, which the company encouraged them to use. Amazon even put up a campaign slogan around the mailbox. Lisa Henderson, a regional director for the NLRB, officially called for a rerun in November.
In an order accompanying Tuesday’s election notice from the NLRB, Henderson said the same mailbox would be at a “neutral location” on Amazon’s property for the upcoming vote and that no party could put up a banner around it or over its use. Cannot issue instructions.
RWDSU said it was still concerned about Amazon “continuing its offensive behavior in a new election.” It said it was particularly concerned that the same mailbox would remain on Amazon’s property for voting, which it believes would create the impression of surveillance that undermines a free and fair election.
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