Peter Endig | AFP | Getty Images
Amazon lost his will to postpone a closely watched union vote at his Bessemer, Alabama-based warehouse.
Amazon last month appealed against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision to leave about 6,000 warehouse workers vote by mail to see if they join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Stores Union. In its appeal, Amazon asked the NLRB to reconsider aspects of its earlier ruling and pushed for an in-person election, citing flaws in the agency’s definition of what constitutes a coronavirus outbreak.
Friday, the NLRB refuse Amazon’s appeal, saying it did not raise “any substantial issues warranting review.”
“The employer’s motion to suspend the poll pending review is also dismissed as moot,” according to a file.
By declining Amazon’s appeal, the NLRB will allow Amazon workers at the Alabama warehouse to begin voting by mail, as scheduled, starting next week. Workers will vote from February 8. Ballots must be received by the NLRB regional office no later than March 29, and then the commission will begin counting the ballots at 10 a.m. PT the next day. This is the first major organizing effort within Amazon since 2014.
In a statement, RWDSU Chairman Stuart Applebaum called the NLRB’s decision a victory in Amazon workers’ struggle to organize and criticized Amazon’s willingness to hold in-person elections as a threat for their health and safety in the midst of the pandemic.
“Once again, Amazon workers have won another fight in their efforts to gain a union voice,” Applebaum said in a statement. “Today’s decision proves that it is high time that Amazon started respecting its own employees and allowing them to vote without intimidation or interference.”
Amazon representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.