The National Labor Relations Board today made an initial recommendation to redo the Amazon union drive election in Bessemer, Alabama.
The presiding hearing officer in the case is now recommending that the NLRB Regional Director disregard the April election results and hold a new election. A formal decision, however, has yet to be made. In April, Amazon workers in Bessemer voted 1,798 to 738 to reject the union.
"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," Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) President Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement. "We support the hearing officer's recommendation that the NLRB set aside the election results and direct a new election. As President Biden reminded us earlier this year, the question of whether or not to have a union is supposed to be the workers' decision and not the employer's. Amazon's behavior throughout the election process was despicable. Amazon cheated, they got caught, and they are being held accountable."
Both Amazon and RWDSU are now able to file any exceptions. Then, the regional director will make a final decision regarding whether there will be a new election. The NLRB expects this process to take several weeks.
The decision comes after RWDSU alleged Amazon illegally interfered during the union voting process. An officer with the NLRB has since determined that Amazon acted unlawfully.
"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," an Amazon spokesperson told Protocol via email. "Their voice should be heard above all else, and we plan to appeal to ensure that happens."