The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has upheld the complaint that Amazon violated labor law in the Staten Island labor vote by holding mandatory worker meetings to dissuade employees from voting to unionize.
“These allegations are false and we look forward to showing that through the process,” Kelly Nantel, Amazon Spokesperson told FOX Business.
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A second spokesperson said that the company regularly holds these meetings to make sure employees understand “the facts about joining a union and the election process itself,” adding that such meetings have been legal for over 70 years and remain a regular process used by “many other companies.”
But the NLRB saw fit to uphold the complaint from the agency’s general councilor Jennfier Abruzzo that such meetings. The Staten Island warehouse voted to unionize in the first successful organizing effort in Amazon’s history.
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The complaint’s merit stems from accusations from the union that Amazon indicated workers could face termination if they voted to unionize or the company could withhold benefits as punishment.
The agency’s attorney, Seth Goldstein, hailed the decision as “a big victory,” and the agency added it will issue a complaint against Amazon unless the company agrees to a settlement, which would cause a court proceeding and litigation.
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The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, a union that ran a separate organizing effort in Alabama, has also filed a complaint over the mandatory meetings.
Several major companies have faced union organizing efforts in recent years, including Starbucks and Apple.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.