It claims the agency used an “artificially reduced number” of employees in the voting unit to calculate whether the ALU had garnered enough support to even hold an election. It also claims the agency delayed investigating what it calls “frivolous” unfair labor practice charges that it says were “exploited” by the union. And it alleges that the agency failed to properly staff the polls during the election, which ultimately “produced chaos and hours-long lines to vote on the first polling day, discouraging other employees from voting.”
Amazon also outlines alleged misconduct on the part of ALU, the grassroots labor organization started by current and former employees of the facility. Among its claims about the ALU, it says the union unlawfully intimidated employees and “threatened violence against its detractors.”
Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in a statement Friday: “Based on the evidence we’ve seen so far, as set out in our objections, we believe that the actions of the NLRB and the ALU improperly suppressed and influenced the vote, and we think the election should be conducted again so that a fair and broadly representative vote can be had.”
The Staten Island election marked the first time a group of US workers have successfully voted to form a union in the company’s 27-year history. On Thursday, Amazon was granted a two-week extension on filing the proof to support its objections.
In its filing requesting the extension from the NLRB regional director, Amazon noted that the election at the facility “was one of the largest in the Board’s recent history” and said that its “objections are anticipated to be substantial, both in the number .. . and the scope of the conduct.”
Out of approximately 8,325 eligible voters, 4,785 votes were counted. There were 2,654 votes in favor of unionizing and 2,131 votes against it. Another 67 ballots were challenged and 17 were voided.
The ALU did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last Thursday, the same day the public vote count began for the Staten Island election, the ballots of a do-over union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, were also tallied, but the outcome remains too close to call. There are 416 ballots being challenged, which is enough to sway the result. The NLRB is expected to hold a hearing to review the contested ballots in the coming weeks.
The RWDSU this week filed objections to the do-over election, arguing that Amazon again interfered with its employees right to vote freely in a fair election and it called for the NLRB regional director to hold a hearing to determine if the results should be set aside once more. The RWSDU alleged there were instances of termination and retaliation of union supporters, intimidation and surveillance of employees engaged in organizing activities, and discrepancies with the list of eligible voters provided to the union. The RWSDU also alleged Amazon applied new rules to prohibit organizing, removed pro-union literature, and threatened to close the facility if the union succeeded.
“We’ve said from the beginning that we want our employees’ voices to be heard, and we hope the NLRB counts every valid vote,” said Amazon’s Nantel in a statement about the Bessemer vote.
The RWDSU previously filed several unfair labor practice complaints over Amazon’s conduct at the facility. One complaint took issue with required group meetings where Amazon representatives conveyed its anti-union stance to workers, which the union argued violated workers’ right to refrain from organizing-related activities.
Amazon, which previously told CNN Business the RWDSU’s complaint has no merit, declined to comment on Abruzzo’s memo.