April 9 (UPI) — Amazon.com Inc. is seeking to overturn the results of a landmark victory by labor organizers in New York, saying the federal board overseeing the election violated impartiality rules.
The online retailing giant asserted that the National Labor Relations Board “unfairly and inappropriately facilitated the [Amazon Labor Union’s] victory” and called for a rerun of the election in a filing obtained Friday by CNN and Bloomberg.
Amazon said the NLRB “failed to protect the integrity and neutrality of its procedures” during last week’s voting by workers at an Amazon warehouse facility on New York’s Staten Island in which the organizers scored enough votes to establish the first union in the company’s history.
The NLRB counted 4,785 ballots cast at the facility known as “JFK8,” of which 2,654 were votes in favor of unionizing and 2,131 votes against. Another 67 ballots were challenged and 17 were voided.
In Friday’s filing, the company cited alleged biased conduct by the NLRB, such as turning away voters and allowing media and union members to gather too close to the voting area.
Amazon listed 25 objections to the election, including alleged threats of violence which “chilled” anti-union turnout, and accused union backers of “distributing marijuana” to workers in exchange for their votes, according to an except of the filing posted by The Financial Times.
“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,” Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in a statement issued to CNN.
The Amazon Labor Union had not responded to the company’s filing by Saturday.
In April 2021, a similar unionization effort by was rejected by Amazon workers in Alabama. The NLRB, however, later ordered a new election after sustaining the union’s objections about the company’s conduct in the run-up to the vote.
The results of the second election in Bessemer, Ala., remain unclear, however, after the labor board declared the outcome would be determined by the disposition of more than 400 challenged ballots.
“The results of this count will not be certified until the Region processes the challenges and any objections the parties may file,” the NLRB said last week.