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amazon v. union

Citing misconduct, official recommends new union election at Alabama Amazon warehouse

A National Labor Relations Board hearing officer recommended that the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union hold a new election at Amazon's Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse, the union said in a statement on Monday.

Per the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, the recommendation found that Amazon put improper pressure on workers to vote against joining the union, The Washington Post reports. The vote was held this spring, with the final tally showing 1,798 "no" votes and 738 "yes" votes.

The National Labor Relations Board has not publicly shared the recommendation; a final ruling will be made by the board's regional director in Atlanta, and could take several weeks. If the director agrees with the recommendation, the earlier election results will be tossed and a new election will be held, the Post reports. 

In a statement, Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union President Stuart Appelbaum said that "through 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. We support the hearing officer's recommendation that the NLRB set aside the election results and direct a new election."

The union alleged that Amazon intimidated the Bessemer employees and had a U.S. Postal Service mailbox put in front of the warehouse after voting started so workers would think that Amazon was part of the effort to collect and count ballots, possibly influencing votes, the Post reports. Amazon denied the accusations, and spokesman Ty Rogers said in a statement that the company will appeal if a new election is called. None of Amazon's U.S. warehouse workers are union members.