Amazon is notorious for not having a union. Now the mega company has been accused of going against US labor laws. They allegedly threatened, persuaded and promised greater benefits to its workers if they voted against the union.

Vice reports that according to a new complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board, managers at Amazon’s JFK8 warehouse have illegally threatened its workers with loss of benefits and reducing wages if they voted for the union over a period of almost one year before the union vote in April, which the union ultimately won.

Seth Goldstein, one of the pro bono attorneys of the Amazon Labor Union, said about the complaint, “I think it’s historic. I think it’s going to reverse decades’ worth of anti-union decisions.”

The majority of the violation sin the lawsuit relate to what was brought up at the captive audience meetings, in which the companies force employees involved in union drives to sit through anti-union presentations, which is a typical practice by anti-union companies.

In April, a lawyer at the NLRB called on the board to forbid such meetings, claiming that they “inherently involve an unlawful threat that employees will be disciplined or suffer other reprisals if they exercise their protected right not to listen to such speech.”

Golstein also added, “The historic nature of it is that it is actually a complaint that’s issued. The board is actually moving on this.” 

According to the complaint. anti-union consultants were paid to hold mandatory anti-union meetings, promised employees an increase in wages if they voted against the union andn threatened employees with lower salary or termination if they voted for the union. These meetings were held between November 2021 and March 2022.

The filed complaint also claims that Amazon exchanged texts via its internal messaging app “Amazon A to Z” that also contains messages about scaring employees with loss of benefiots. Amazon also barred its employees from posting a call for Juneteenth to be recognised as an official holiday for Amazon’s internal “Voice of Associates” digital bulletin board, and an employees authorization to post on the board.

Amazon has been previously accused by NLRB multiple times in the past for involving in union-busting tactics. One of the audios of these meetings was previosuly leaked to Motherboard. In the audio, Amazon representatives referred workers to anti-union websites. belittling the Amazon Labor Union and misleading employees.

The NLRB asked the company to post a notice regarding worker’s union rights under the National Labor Relations Act in all of its Staten Island facilities, including bathrooms and send the same message to all employees through messages, email, social media and internal Voice of Associates board. The board has also asked Amazon to read the notice aloud in front of all its workers and submit an attendance list to the board.

Amazon will now be able to settle matters with the NLRB, failing which the case will go for a trial. Stay tuned to Thirsty for more updates!

What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments below!

Sanchari Ghosh

Sanchari has a degree in chemical engineering. Apart from that, she has a knack for reading and photography too. She likes to keep herself updated with what is happening around the world. Sanchari is always keen on learning new things. She loves watching movies and her favorite genre is romantic comedies!

Disqus Comments Loading...