In an indication that federal labor officials are closely scrutinizing management behavior during union campaigns, the National Labor Relations Board informed a lawyer representing staff at Amazon this week that it had found merit in accusations that the corporate had violated labor law.
The labor board found merit to charges that the corporate had required staff to attend anti-union meetings at an enormous Staten Island warehouse where the Amazon Labor Union won a surprising election victory last month. The determination was communicated to the union Friday by an attorney for the labor board’s regional office in Brooklyn, in keeping with Seth Goldstein, a lawyer representing the union.
Such meetings, often often known as “captive audience” meetings, are legal under current labor board precedent. But last month, the board’s general counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, issued a memo saying that the precedent was at odds with the underlying federal statute, and she or he indicated that she would seek to challenge it.
In the identical filing of charges, the Amazon Labor Union accused the corporate of threatening to withhold advantages from employees in the event that they voted to unionize, and of inaccurately indicating to employees that they could possibly be fired if the warehouse were to unionize and so they didn’t pay union dues. The labor board also found merit to those accusations, in keeping with an email from the attorney on the regional office, Matt Jackson.
Mr. Jackson said the agency would soon issue a grievance reflecting those accusations unless Amazon settled the case. The grievance can be litigated before an administrative law judge, whose decision could possibly be appealed to the labor board in Washington.
Mr. Goldstein applauded Ms. Abruzzo and the regional office for taking “decisive steps ending required captive audience meetings” and said the fitting to unionize “will likely be protected by ending Amazon’s inherently coercive work practices.”
A spokeswoman for the board confirmed the findings. Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokeswoman, said in an announcement that “these allegations are false and we look ahead to showing that through the method.”