Labor Unions

NLRB Overturns Amazon Workers' Decision Not To Unionize, Orders New Election

If providing campaign buttons were grounds for disqualifying the results, would any election in modern American history be valid?


Though the election had a clear winner, a small but vocal contingent from the losing faction has spent months pushing wild theories with little supporting evidence about a scheme to fix the outcome. The only solution, they say, is to have a new election where the true winner will emerge victorious.

And, this time, it seems to have worked.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ordered a do-over of a high-profile unionization election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. The Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) lost that election decisively in April—by a margin greater than two-to-one—but the NLRB is giving the union a second chance after a dispute that centers on the mailboxes used to collect workers' ballots.

Yes, really. This is a fight over whether a form of mail-in balloting might have affected the outcome of an election.

Lisa Henderson, the director of the NLRB's Atlanta region who issued the board's ruling on Monday, said that Amazon's decision to place a post office collection box near the warehouse's parking lot gave "the appearance of irregular and improper" election procedures that violated the NLRB's rules. Amazon executives had argued that the mailbox was provided to make it easier for workers to deposit their ballots, but the union claimed the mailbox somehow caused workers to believe the election was being unduly influenced by management.

Separately, Henderson also sided with the union's complain that Amazon had "improperly polled employees" prior to the election by making "vote NO" paraphernalia available to workers.

It's no surprise that the NLRB, which has a long history of siding with labor unions in these fights, ruled against Amazon. But any objective view of the election would conclude that the union's complaints have little merit.

If providing campaign buttons was grounds for disqualifying the results of an election, would any election in modern American history be valid? The union—like Sidney Powell and Rudy Guiliani—might argue that mail-in voting is inherently corrupt for hackish political reasons, but that claim has little basis in the real world.

The results of April's election suggest that it was the RWDSU's own failures rather than intimidation from Amazon that swung the outcome. About half of the Bessemer warehouse's roughly 5,800 workers voted, and only 738 voted for unionization. That's about 13 percent.

In Bessemer, Amazon's campaign argued that workers were earning at least $15 per hour plus benefits, and that paying union dues would consume part of their paychecks. Those are reasonable reasons to vote against unionization! And that probably has more to do with the outcome in Bessemer than paper-thin conspiracy theories about campaign buttons and mailboxes.

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  1. This after all the money bezos gave to democrats.
    Couldn’t happen to a nicer asshole.

    1. So the purpose, then, of Government Almighty and unions and other collective entities is... To punish my enemies and reward me & my friends! Fairness, justice, and the rule of law are just for silly people, right?

      When and where has this kind of approach ever brought peace and prosperity in the long run? Or is MY SIDE WINNING more important than peace and prosperity in the first place?

      1. The rules corporate fascists write for others are ultimately the rules they make for themselves. Sucks, doesn’t it?

        1. Hypocrisy, sad to say, is common in ANY group of people (short of the sheep and the goats being sorted out by God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or some such). I saw the other day Biden wasn't wearing his mask in a mask-required public area, for a random example. "The rules are for the little people", and "rank hath its privileges".

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      2. It does no harm to my cause to rejoice when my enemy's actions come back to bite them.

        It would be pretty damned stupid to help my enemy when their own actions have come back to bite them.

        1. "It does no harm to my cause to rejoice when my enemy's actions come back to bite them."

          Almost absolutely true! Where it is NOT true, is when "their actions come back to bite them" is when my allies, or I, have tweaked or bent the rules (or invented unfair rules) for the express purpose of tripping up our enemies (for revenge). "Their actions", in other words, are sometimes really OUR actions of revenge! Then, "what comes around, goes around". They'll do their best to turn our tricks right back around on us... Unless they chose the high ground, which does happen from time to time. The only way to break the endless cycles of revenge or violence, is for someone, somewhere, to absorb a blow, and NOT strike back.

          Humans are involved, so it gets complicated!

        2. Never interrupt your enemy when they're in the process committing error.

      3. NLRB Union Laws are extremely strict and violation of them can even result in the elections being reversed. So in a way, Bezos money might have helped.
        ANY violation by a business will get them in extremely hot water. If a business knows that a union may be forming and they don't want it, THE very first thing they should do is hire a labor law lawyer to help them navigate what they can and cannot do. You violate those laws and it almost always will result in a union forming.
        Sometimes though, a union is not bad, smaller businesses can get legal help and special rates on insurance and other benefits. It pays for management to know what is happening and how it will impact their business as well how to navigate the laws of unionization.
        Always, Always have a lawyer help you out in this situation, businesses that do not will almost always violate the law to their detriment.

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  2. You will vote again and again and AGAIN, till we get the results that we were looking for!

    1. Moar fortifications needed!

    2. Look at the EU record for more integration of the states - they also kept voting until they got it right. When that didn't work, they just called it a treaty rather than an amendment, and passed it in committee.
      Never trust the people to get the important things right.

    3. Standard union procedure if they can get away with it. Shit just like this happened years ago to a plant in my area. Vote was close so claim some irregularity to force a new election. Third time the union squeaked past.

      My favorite story is from an ex boss of mine who used to run a shop. Union came in and tried to organize, and the management supported the union! So the union won. Whereupon the management promptly *lowered* wages to what the union was demanding. Hell, if the workers are demanding lower wages, who is management to stand in their way?

  3. All elections are invalid until they arrive at the correct outcome. At that point "The people have spoken!" and the results can never be questioned.

    1. It's funny because that's literally a word-for-word replication of your thousands of posts over the past 11 months on the 2020 election.

  4. "The union—like Sidney Powell and Rudy Guiliani"


    1. Who knew Rudy was running the NLRB?

      1. I thought it was a couple wise guys from Joisey named Vito and Joey.

  5. Appeal to appropriate Court of Appeals in 3... 2... 1...

  6. It's not illogical to think that if Amazon can tell the USPS where to put mailboxes, that Amazon might be collecting the ballots.

    And if Amazon is pressuring employees to wear "NO" buttons...


    1. It is incredibly paranoid to think Amazon has bought the USPS and controls USPS mailboxes. Just one whistleblower could land some Amazon executive in federal prison.

      1. It is incredibly paranoid to think Amazon has bought the USPS and controls USPS mailboxes.

        It's not paranoid to think that Amazon might have some control over the specific mailbox they had installed. I think it's unlikely, but someone doesn't have to be paranoid to think otherwise. The average Reason commenter is far more paranoid than that.

        And it's not what you or I think that matters, it's what an Amazon employee at that site might plausibly think.

        1. But if that employee thinks it's an issue, there are undoubtedly *other mailboxes*. Bessemer, Alabama isn't *that* small of a place.

        2. > And it's not what you or I think that matters, it's what an Amazon employee at that site might plausibly think.

          no, surely the warm-hearted glibertarians who haunt the reason dot com comments section know better than them.

  7. More specifically, the on-site mailbox is going to benefit the employees who want the long hours.

  8. Those stupid employees don't know what's best for them.

    1. Rooshins hacked the elekshun!

  9. By extension, if "mail-in," or "drop-off" ballots unduly affect election results, then every election in every town in every State is invalid: because the existence of such is proof of government tampering and influence.

    1. Clearly this is not something NLRB considered, nor are we mere plebs supposed to do so. We must await the talking points from out betters...

    2. In California, Sylmar I believe, the GOP put up an "official" ballot collection box that was not at all official. That local GOP didn't think they were doing anything wrong at all.

      But both sides, in the past party workers would collect registration cards, and the Dems got caught tossing out those that didn't check off Democrat as their party preference. But both sides, you know the Republicans have done the same.

      1. It was a ballot collection toilet, and no one took it seriously, except for the few assholes who had no sense of humor and tried to prosecute the jokester.

  10. I guess they need to do a better, more Fortified election that will result in the Proper outcome.

  11. Interesting attempt at parallels, but fails because the objection wasn't to mail in voting but to the location of one mail box.

    1. Essentially, these arguments are so specious that if you think Pro-Trump was unreasonable, this should be absurd to the point of perjury.

      In fact, I believe that these arguments are so brazenly false that the lawyers really do need official punishment, and this should be grounds for removing authority from the NLRB

    2. That argument doesn't pass the straight face test, but when has this stopped the NLRB?

    3. Some of the complaints about the new Georgia law was all about the specified location of drop-off boxes (must be inside local government buildings vs scattered around and left open to public day-and-night and unobserved/unattended).

      1. Well, there's a difference. With boxes in government buildings, a substantial portion of people have difficulty getting there between 9:00 and 5:00. To compare, this was a mailbox at the workplace, where everyone is. It's the only place you can be 100% assured people can get to it.

  12. The NLRB is controlled by a Democrat majority with two Biden appointees in the majority.

    They'll keep asking the same question until the employees give them the right answer.

    1. 'We support democracy and will until the elections produce the desired result!'

  13. Not even trying to hide the fascism at this point

  14. Anybody with an IQ over 50 saw this decision coming the minute they filed the appeal.

  15. Democrats will make sure this vote is repeated until the proper result occurs.

  16. the votings will continue until results improve.

  17. LOL so the workers are "fascists" now?

    1. The workers voted against the union. The government overturned the workers desires. You have a government agency dictating how private workers and private companies should operate, so yes that is facism

      1. That is the biggest ball of stupidity I've seen in a while.

        You've outdone yourself once again Reverend.

        1. Steaming pile of lefty lies shitfordinner just joined other steaming piles of lefty shit in the mute bucket.
          Fuck off and dies, asshole.

  18. What the fuck do you care? If it's such a slam dunk then this vote will lose by a similar margin.

    1. Unless the rules get changed (again) such that slam dunks in overtime means the opposing team gets another possession and sudden death goes into effect if they score.

    2. Right, which is why we need to hold the 2020 election again. If Biden is such a slam dunk, he'll again be the most popular president in the history of the republic.

    3. So in a small town I lived, the teacher's union used this tactic when they wanted more money but the tax payers said no. They brought it to a vote again and again until the opposition who had actual lives and jobs didn't show up in enough numbers one time and they finally won. The union is counting on the fact that a long as they hold enough votes, eventually they will win.

    4. We expect that the voting will continue under more and more absurd rules and complaints until most people give up and let the union win with like 5 "yea" votes, 1 "nay", and 6000 abstentions.

    5. The first election was held before the vaccine mandate craziness, if I recall correctly. If the pro union side comes out against in full force, they may score some defection.

      The question is, how many workers voted "yes" reluctantly to protect their job, despite their own misgivings and complaints about the company? How many of he 81 million people who voted for Biden did it out of love of Biden, as opposed to hate of Trump? Now Biden is this era's Jimmy Carter.

      This being red Alabama, plenty of workers probably voted no by following party line on unionization. Do they hate unions more than Amazon? I worked part time in a warehouse setting, and I hated every minute of it.

      1. The difference is that Carter had his mental capability intact.

    6. Because it's wrong, you amoral lefty cocksock.

      That I will get prosecuted for walking over and punching your teeth out is immaterial to it being wrong to have unprovoked acts of violence in the first place. The ultimate result does not negate the inciting action.

    7. And that's why you supported taking a re-do in Georgia, Arizona and Wisconsin where there have been indictments over criminal mishandling of the election which was decided by less than 20,000 votes, right?

  19. Yes, really. This is a fight over whether a form of mail-in balloting might have affected the outcome of an election.
    The union—like Sidney Powell and Rudy Guiliani—might argue that mail-in voting is inherently corrupt for hackish political reasons, but that claim has little basis in the real world.

    The meta of indicting the NLRB for polling Amazon workers until they vote the right outcome while dismissing Unions, Powell, Guiliani, and pretty much the entire Western world up until 2020 as some sort of conspiratorial crackpots for not arriving on the right conclusion about the impeccability of mail-in voting is pretty funny.

    1. Not even surprising. If it came from a Dem, they're likely lying.

  20. The workers should sue the NLRB for conspiring to violate their civil rights under color of authority. They voted against letting scumbags skim their paychecks to buy hookers and blow for mobsters and lefturd politicians.


    1. A colorful but accurate assessment.

  21. It almost sounds like Boehm might be suspicious there's some sort of malarkey going on here. Now I know he's not the conspiracy theory type to believe in malarkey - nor hijinks, jiggery-pokery, tom-foolery or the ol' greasy monkey - so I'm not sure what the point of this post is. Surely he's not suggesting that we might not have the most securely fortified elections in this country!

  22. Two sides complain about elections. Only one of them has to power to actually overturn elections. You either get it or you don't.

    If an Amazon center in a red state unionizes, it's game over. The pro union side might be open to several compromises, including an agreement to formally oppose corporate vaccine mandates. That might change plenty of minds.

    Why make enemies out of people who want to spare you from low taxes and regulations? Corporate America is giant mystery.

  23. Well, that's not sketchy at all.

    "We're going to hold the election again because we don't like the result."

  24. I guess whoever hid the box of ballots for the 3AM miracle forgot to tell the union bosses where it was.

  25. "The tally of ballots dated April 9 shows that of the approximately 5,867 eligible voters, there were 738 votes cast for the Union and 1,798 votes against the Union, with 505 challenged ballots, a number that was not sufficient to affect the election results."
    Ergo... "We Wuz Robbed!"

    1. So the 2800+ who didn't vote were scared away by the suspicious mailbox?

  26. Thought it was just ludicrous to argue that mail-in voting was not extremely secure.

    1. Unless the mail-in voting is conducted by former Obama administration officials on Zuckerberg's payroll then it's sus af fr fr no cap fam.

  27. One would come to the conclusion that John Gotti was running the NLRB.
    "We'll send my people out to break some legs until we get the correct vote."
    However, it should be noted the relationship between unions and the Mob. Bezos may want to think twice if he doesn't want to end up like Jimmy Hoffa.

  28. Bureaucratic administrators will always find bureaucratic and administrative reasons to "adjust" things to their own liking.

    The Left will marvel at this and celebrate it, without understanding for even a moment that tomorrow those bureaucracies and administrations might be held by people that they disagree with, and the bureaucracy and administration will just as easily work against them.

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