Hearing officer recommends Amazon union election be held again

The election at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) should be held again, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearing officer recommended.

The union that workers at the Bessemer facility would join put out a statement Monday celebrating the recommendation it says went in its favor. The NLRB declined to comment and the recommendation has not been released publicly yet.

Amazon workers at the warehouse voted in April by a more than 2-to-1 margin not to unionize.

The union immediately challenged the results, claiming the e-commerce giant had illegally influenced workers.

The recommendation now goes to the NLRB regional director in Atlanta, who can choose whether a new election is held. Hearing officer recommendations are very rarely ignored.

“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,” 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.”

The union’s arguments in a three-week hearing on the challenge focused on a mailbox that was installed in the warehouse’s parking lot shortly after voting kicked off, which it claimed made workers feel they were being surveilled.

The company has maintained that it pressed the Postal Service to install the mailbox to make it easier for workers to vote.

Amazon plans to appeal any repeat of the election, a spokesperson confirmed to The Hill.

“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,” the spokesperson added in a statement.

Updated 8:48 p.m.

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