US labour officials have filed a lawsuit accusing Amazon of employing intimidation and surveillance against its workers in a New York City warehouse who were attempting to form a union.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said in a lawsuit filed on Thursday that Amazon questioned workers about union activities at the Staten Island facility, promising to remedy issues in exchange for voting against representation.
The question is whether the workers will be the first in the United States to form a union.
The corporation “repeatedly breached the law by intimidating, surveilling, and questioning their Staten Island warehouse workers who are involved in a union organising effort,” according to the NLRB’s complaint.
The board has asked a judge to require Amazon to educate workers and management on employee rights when it comes to unionising, with a hearing planned for April 5.
The charges were dismissed by Amazon, which stated that they “are incorrect and we look forward to demonstrating so via this process.”
According to the petition, union literature was reportedly taken from a breakroom and “confiscated” from some employees.
The National Labor Relations Board has determined that enough employees at the Staten Island warehouse support the union campaign to warrant a vote, with the following steps to be considered at a hearing on February 16.
With a rematch ballot in Bessemer, Alabama, a drive to organise what may be the first union at an Amazon facility in the United States will continue next month.
Organizers were defeated in a highly watched vote last year in Bessemer, where they accused Amazon of breaching the rules and were allowed a re-do on appeal.
The NLRB will mail ballots out on February 4th, and the votes will be counted on March 28th.
The referendum in the small town of Bessemer received a lot of media interest since it paired employees’ supporters against Amazon, including artists, Democratic and Republican officials, and even President Joe Biden.