Labor Group Says Amazon Threatened Layoffs Before Union Vote

The union says such threats were unlawful, and is asking the results of the elections to be set aside.

Recently, a vote was held at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, that could have had big implications for the e-tailer.

An election over whether workers would join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) would have made this the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the country.

Instead, workers chose to opt out by a 2-to-1 margin, which was a blow to the organized labor movement.

Now, the RWDSU is filing a flurry of objections to Amazon’s actions prior to the vote, suggesting they prevented workers from engaging in a "free and uncoerced exercise of choice."

According to Reuters, the RWDSU is claiming Amazon threatened to lay off workers and even said it might close the warehouse if the vote to unionize was successful.

Reuters says the union says such threats were unlawful, and is asking the results of the elections to be set aside.

The RWDSU is also asking the National Labor Relations Board to schedule a hearing relating to its objections.

When Reuters reached Amazon for comment, they said, “Rather than accepting these employees' choice, the union seems determined to continue misrepresenting the facts in order to drive its own agenda.”


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