Amazon Violated Worker Rights Settlement, NLRB Says

Amazon Denies Claims, Says It Has Been Complying
An Amazon fulfillment center
Workers process packages at an Amazon fulfillment center in Melville, N.Y. (Johnny Milano/Bloomberg News)

[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.] Inc. was accused by U.S. officials of violating the terms of a labor board settlement, teeing up an expedited process for the government to consider claims that the company illegally tried to suppress union organizing.

In a complaint issued Sept. 28, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board accused the e-commerce giant of breaching obligations under a 2021 settlement. The accord required the company to let workers stay on its premises after their shifts in order to organize.

Under the settlement, the agency’s general counsel can seek a default judgment on those allegations from labor board members in Washington without trial or other proceedings.

The complaint, which Bloomberg News obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request, says Amazon should be forced to stop enacting or enforcing rules that unlawfully interfere with workers’ rights and to issue emails and post physical notices for employees nationwide about their rights.

“We’ve fully complied with the settlement agreement, which we voluntarily entered into in December 2021,” Mary Kate Paradis, an Amazon spokesperson, said in a Sept. 29 email. “This complaint has no merit and contradicts the very same regional office who confirmed our full compliance with the agreement and closed the cases over a year ago.”

The NLRB lacks authority to impose punitive damages or hold executives personally liable for violations, and its rulings may be appealed to federal court.


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The settlement was related to agency allegations that Amazon issued an unlawful policy nationwide in 2020, requiring staff to leave its property within 15 minutes after the end of their shift. According to the agency, it later enforced that policy at sites in Illinois and New York where employees were organizing by ordering workers to leave or threatening to call police when they didn’t comply.

The Amazon Labor Union, which pulled off a historic upset when it won a unionization vote at a warehouse on New York’s Staten Island, has said the settlement played a key role in its success. Inc. ranks No. 9 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest private carriers in North America.

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