Bulletins

Amazon union drive in Bessemer may get a new election

The presiding hearing officer with the NLRB has determined Amazon violated the law.

Amazon union drive in Bessemer may get a new election

Pro-union Amazon workers lost the union election in Bessemer, Alabama.

Photo: Amazon

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."

Protocol | Policy

Why Twitch’s 'hate raid' lawsuit isn’t just about Twitch

When is it OK for tech companies to unmask their anonymous users? And when should a violation of terms of service get someone sued?

The case Twitch is bringing against two hate raiders is hardly black and white.

Photo: Caspar Camille Rubin/Unsplash

It isn't hard to figure out who the bad guys are in Twitch's latest lawsuit against two of its users. On one side are two anonymous "hate raiders" who have been allegedly bombarding the gaming platform with abhorrent attacks on Black and LGBTQ+ users, using armies of bots to do it. On the other side is Twitch, a company that, for all the lumps it's taken for ignoring harassment on its platform, is finally standing up to protect its users against persistent violators whom it's been unable to stop any other way.

But the case Twitch is bringing against these hate raiders is hardly black and white. For starters, the plaintiff here isn't an aggrieved user suing another user for defamation on the platform. The plaintiff is the platform itself. Complicating matters more is the fact that, according to a spokesperson, at least part of Twitch's goal in the case is to "shed light on the identity of the individuals behind these attacks," raising complicated questions about when tech companies should be able to use the courts to unmask their own anonymous users and, just as critically, when they should be able to actually sue them for violating their speech policies.

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Issie Lapowsky

Issie Lapowsky ( @issielapowsky) is Protocol's chief correspondent, covering the intersection of technology, politics, and national affairs. She also oversees Protocol's fellowship program. Previously, she was a senior writer at Wired, where she covered the 2016 election and the Facebook beat in its aftermath. Prior to that, Issie worked as a staff writer for Inc. magazine, writing about small business and entrepreneurship. She has also worked as an on-air contributor for CBS News and taught a graduate-level course at New York University's Center for Publishing on how tech giants have affected publishing.

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Protocol | Fintech

When COVID rocked the insurance market, this startup saw opportunity

Ethos has outraised and outmarketed the competition in selling life insurance directly online — but there's still an $887 billion industry to transform.

Life insurance has been slow to change.

Image: courtneyk/Getty Images

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Protocol | Workplace

Remote work is here to stay. Here are the cybersecurity risks.

Phishing and ransomware are on the rise. Is your remote workforce prepared?

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Photo: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Protocol | Enterprise

How GitHub COO Erica Brescia runs the coding gold mines

GitHub sits at the center of the world's software-development activity, which makes the Microsoft-owned code repository a major target for hackers and a trend-setter in open source software.

GitHub COO Erica Brescia

Photo: GitHub

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