Amazon accused of interfering in Alabama union rerun election

The RWDSU claims the company removed pro-union posters and forced workers to attend anti-union meetings.

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Igor Bonifacic
February 22, 2022 5:10 PM
BIRMINGHAM, AL - MARCH 05: A truck passes as Congressional delegates visit the Amazon Fulfillment Center after meeting with workers and organizers involved in the Amazon BHM1 facility unionization effort, represented by the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union on March 5, 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama. Workers at Amazon facility currently make $15 an hour, however they feel that their requests for less strict work mandates are not being heard by management. (Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images)
Megan Varner via Getty Images

The union that wants to represent workers at Amazon’s BHM1 facility in Bessemer, Alabama is accusing the company of once again violating the National Labor Relations Act. In an email the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) sent Tuesday, it said it would file Unfair Labor Practice charges against the retailer.

Specifically, the organization alleges Amazon broke the law by removing pro-union posters put up by members of BAmazon, and implementing a new rule that limits the amount of time workers can spend inside the facility to 30 minutes before and after their shift. Additionally, the RWDSU alleges Amazon forced workers to attend anti-union meetings. If the NLRB finds Amazon’s actions violated the law, the union could then challenge the result of the ongoing second election at BHM1. That vote is currently scheduled to conclude on March 28th.

“While we haven’t seen today’s filing yet, we’re confident that our teams have fully complied with the law. Our focus remains on working directly with our team to make Amazon a great place to work," Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told Engadget.

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Last April, BHM1 became the first large Amazon facility in the US to hold a union vote. While workers there voted decisively against forming a union, the RWDSU went on to successfully challenge the vote. The NLRB ruled the company had illegally interfered with the vote and called for a rerun of the election to be held. Whether Amazon wins or loses the second election at Bessemer, it could be months before the NLRB makes a decision on the latest allegations from the RWDSU. That could set the stage for a protracted labor battle at the facility. 

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