Amazon’s (AMZN) - Get Report request to delay union elections at one of its Alabama warehouses was denied by the National Labor Relations Board, permitting thousands of workers to start voting this month.
“The employer’s request for review of the acting regional director’s decision and direction of election is denied, as it raises no substantial issues warranting review,” the NLRB said in its decision Friday. “The employer’s motion to stay the election pending review is also denied as moot.”
Amazon responded in an emailed statement:
"Our goal is for as many of our employees as possible to vote and we’re disappointed by the decision by the NLRB not to provide the most fair and effective format to achieve maximum employee participation.
"Even the National Labor Relations Board recognizes that the employee participation rate for its own elections conducted with mail ballots is 20-30% lower than the participation rate for in-person voting.
"Amazon proposed a safe on-site election process validated by covid-19 experts that would have empowered our associates to vote on their way to, during and from their already scheduled shifts.
"We will continue to insist on measures for a fair election that allows for a majority of our employee voices to be heard."
Before and during the covid-19 pandemic, some Amazon workers have accused the company of enforcing working conditions dangerous to their health. Amazon has denied the charges and opposes unionization for its workers.
“Amazon workers have won another fight in their effort to win a union voice,” Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which would represent the workers, said in reaction to the decision.
“Amazon’s blatant disregard for the health and safety of its own workforce was demonstrated yet again by its insistence for an in-person election in the middle of the pandemic. (Friday's) decision proves that it’s long past time that Amazon start respecting its own employees; and allow them to cast their votes without intimidation and interference,” Appelbaum said.
Amazon's shares closed Friday at $3,352, up 0.6%. They have gained just under 4% over the past six months.