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Amazon says union and NLRB “suppressed and influenced” Staten Island election

It’s asking the election results be overturned. | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amazon has officially filed its objections to the Amazon Labor Union’s win in Staten Island, New York, and is asking the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to order a new election. The objections expand upon a document the company recently submitted that signaled its intent to fight the election results — the company now says that ALU members “intimidated employees,” “recorded voters in the polling place,” and “distributed marijuana to employees in exchange for their support,” according to an excerpt posted by Financial Times reporter Dave Lee.

The full complaint was not immediately available from the NLRB on Friday. The Amazon Labor Union didn’t immediately reply to The Verge’s request for comment.

In a statement emailed to The Verge, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said: “Based on the evidence we’ve seen so far, as set out in our objections, we believe that the actions of the NLRB and the ALU improperly suppressed and influenced the vote, and we think the election should be conducted again so that a fair and broadly representative vote can be had.”

Amazon was not able to provide The Verge with a copy of its objections. The company recently requested that the NLRB give it more time to gather evidence, which it was granted — it will have to provide documentation to the agency by April 22nd.

In the complaint, the company says that the NLRB “failed to protect the integrity and neutrality of its procedures,” according to Bloomberg. In the document filed Wednesday, Amazon objected to “frivolous unfair labor practice charges against Amazon.” The NLRB has filed several complaints and lawsuits against Amazon, claiming that the company fired workers in retaliation for organization and that representatives for the company intimidated and surveilled workers.

“The NLRB is an independent federal agency that Congress has charged with enforcing the National Labor Relations Act. All NLRB enforcement actions against Amazon have been consistent with that Congressional mandate,” said Kayla Blado, a spokesperson for the NLRB, in an email to The Verge.

Amazon cites precedent in its request to overturn the election results. In its filing, the company says: “The actions of both the Region and the ALU are substantially more egregious than the installation of a mailbox by the United States Postal Service that the Board concluded destroyed and interfered with laboratory conditions in Amazon’s landslide election victory” during the union drive in Bessemer, Alabama. The company continues, saying “the Region and ALU’s improper actions here warrant at least the same result.”

Last year, after workers at Amazon’s Bessemer facility voted against unionization nearly two to one, the NLRB ruled that the company had broken labor law during the election. The regulator said that Amazon’s “unilateral decision to cause the United States Postal Service... to install a generic unlabeled mail collection box less than 50 feet from the main entrance to its facility” “usurped the [NLRB’s] exclusive role in administering Union elections.”



Source: The Verge

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