Amazon has been accused attempting to “illegally interfere with and intimidate” workers as US government officials suggest its landmark union vote should be overturned.
Amazon warehouses workers in Alabama could be given another chance to form the first ever US union after the a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearing officer said a new election should be held.
According to The Washington Post, an NLRB official said that Alabama warehouse workers were improperly pressured by the retail giant to vote against forming a union last April, and the result should therefore be overturned.
In April warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, voted decisively against forming the first ever Amazon workers union in the US, voting 1798 to 738 against unionisation.
Days later the NLRB, which has overturned numerous union election votes in the past, said evidence submitted by the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) could yet see a do-over of vote.
The NLRB officer has now made an official recommendation, which will be passed up the chain to the NLRB’s regional director in Atlanta who will decide whether the vote should be scrapped, and a new election held.
“Amazon cheated, they got caught, and they are being held accountable,” ” RWDSU president Stuart Appelbaum said.
“Throughout the NLRB hearing, we heard compelling evidence how Amazon tried to illegally interfere with and intimidate workers as they sought to exercise their right to form a union.
“We support the hearing officer’s recommendation that the NLRB set aside the election results and direct a new election.”
Amazon, which fiercely opposed workers efforts to unionise and has been successful in preventing any unions forming in the US since it was founded, said that its workers “overwhelmingly” opposed unionisation.
It added in a statement: “Our employees had a chance to be heard during a noisy time when all types of voices were weighing into the national debate, and at the end of the day, they voted overwhelmingly in favor of a direct connection with their managers and the company”.