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RWSDU Filing Charges Against Amazon Following Union Rejection in Alabama

(Ross Franklin/AP)

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union plans to file charges against Amazon after workers at the Bessemer, Alabama plant voted against unionizing Thursday, April 9.

The President of RWDSU, Stuart Applebaum, said Amazon went to illegal lengths to ensure their employees would not continue to support the union.

“Amazon has left no stone unturned in its efforts to gaslight its own employees,” said Applebaum, “that’s why they required all their employees to attend lecture after lecture, filled with mistruths and lies, where workers had to listen to the company demand they oppose the union.”

The union says it will object to the result with the NLRB, according to an article from WBHM, and also said Amazon intimidated and coerced workers into voting no.

According to the Associated Press, 53% of nearly 6,000 employees cast a ballot, with 1,798 voting against unionizing versus 738 in favor of unionizing.

RWDSU is filing Objections to the conduct of the Election and related Unfair Labor Practice charges (ULPs) with the National Labor Relations Board. The RWDSU will request that the Regional Director of the NLRB schedule a hearing to determine if the outcome of the election was affected in any way due to employer confusion, coercion and/or fear of reprisals which may have interfered with the employees’ freedom of choice.

“We demand a comprehensive investigation over Amazon’s behavior in corrupting this election,” said Applebaum, “working people deserve better than the way Amazon has conducted itself during this campaign.”

The orginizing efforts in Bessemer getting as far as a vote was unexpected, and has already left a mark on Amazon industry with similar unionization efforts springing up in Chicago.

“I know the outcome is not … what a lot of people may want to hear, but today I want to encourage the Amazon workers to let them know how proud I am of them,” said Mike Foster, vice president of an Alabama RWDSU chapter, in an interview with WBHM. “This is the foundation for something great that’s about to happen all over the world.”

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