US Labor Board Finds Amazon’s Captive Staff Meetings On Unions Illegal

A U.S. labor board official has found that Amazon violated federal law when it held mandatory staff meetings at its New York fulfillment center, discouraging employees from banding together.

According to the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), the company forced its Staten Island warehouse employees to attend so-called captive training sessions and threatened to dismiss employees that chose to join the ALU.

In a recording shared by the ALU, one of the company’s managers is heard telling employees that if they choose to form a union, they might be subject to a union-mandated employment clause that would require Amazon to fire them if they decide not to join the union and pay union dues.

“These allegations are false and we look forward to showing that through the process,” said Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel, adding that mandatory meetings have been legal for more than 70 years and have been commonly held by employers.

The kerfuffle between the ALU and Amazon comes less than a week after employees at Amazon’s second Staten Island warehouse location overwhelmingly voted against unionization efforts.

Out of the 1,633 employees at the LDJ5 warehouse eligible to vote, 380 employees voted in favor of forming the union, while 618 opposed it.

Meanwhile, the first Staten Island location voted in favor of forming the union, becoming the first Amazon location to do so.

“We hope that Amazon will cease their meritless objections to our overwhelming election victory and will instead focus on ending their unlawful union-busting practices,” said Seth Goldstein, a pro bono attorney representing the ALU.

Originally published at https://retailbum.com on May 9, 2022.

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