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Regulators Accuse Amazon of Singling Out Union Organizers for Discipline

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Federal labor regulators are moving to force Amazon to repeal rules governing employee use of non-work areas, accusing Amazon of illegally singling out union supporters in implementing the policy. is blaming.

According to a complaint filed Tuesday by the National Labor Relations Commission’s Brooklyn office, Amazon applied for material distribution and solicitation activities “by discriminatory application against employees engaged in union activities.” “We selectively and discriminatoryly enforced the rules,” the court said.

The complaint amounts to a certification of merit in the allegations brought by the Amazon union that launched two successful and one unsuccessful organizing efforts at two Staten Island warehouses this year. Unless resolved in advance, the case will be litigated before an Administrative Law Judge, and Amazon may appeal the adverse decision to the National Labor Board in Washington.

The complaint alleges that the company unlawfully applied its solicitation policy when it prohibited workers from posting pro-union signs in the non-working areas of LDJ5, one of its Staten Island warehouses. According to the complaint, the company threatened to reprimand employees if they did not post or remove signs, and he also said at least one employee was disciplined under the solicitation policy. increase.

The complaint also accuses the company of reprimanding two workers and dissuading them from participating in union activities.

After winning votes representing about 8,000 workers at another Staten Island warehouse, JFK8, the union lost the election by a large margin at LDJ5 in May.

Amazon policy prohibits employees from soliciting financial contributions from colleagues for company reasons during working hours or from distributing non-work-related materials in the workplace. This policy also prevents non-employees from making any kind of solicitation for company reasons.

According to the Labor Commission complaint, Amazon can only reinstate its policy if it explicitly states that the policy does not apply to worker organizing and related activities, known as protected collective activities. I can do it. The complaint also requires that all supervisors, managers, security personnel, and outside consultants employed by Amazon receive training on workers’ federally protected worker rights. Most of the approximately 1 million employees nationwide could be affected.

(The complaint wasn’t clear as to whether the training was nationwide or just for the New York area, and a Labor Commission spokeswoman was unable to immediately clarify.

“Amazon commits flagrant human rights abuses by illegally reprimanding ALU supporters and banning them from unionizing in company break rooms,” union treasurer Connor Spence said in a statement. “Organizing unions in the employer’s break room is a protected right mandated by the National Labor Relations Board.”

“These claims are completely baseless and we look forward to demonstrating that through the process,” Amazon spokesman Paul Flanningan said in a statement.

Complaints come at an important time for Amazon unions. Earlier this month, a Labor Commission hearing officer recommended that the union reject Amazon’s formal challenge to her JFK8 victory. (Amazon says it will likely appeal the matter.) But defending this victory consumed time the union hoped it would spend pushing its warehouse contracts.

In October, labor commissions will hold elections involving about 400 workers at unions and Amazon warehouses in Albany,New York

Karen Weise contributed to the report.

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