Amazon reaches labor agreement, giving workers more power to organize

Seattle — Amazon, facing Growing study on labor rights, This month agreed with the National Labor Relations Board as part of a nationwide settlement to allow its warehouse staff to be easily organized in the workplace.

Under the deal, which was finalized on Wednesday, Amazon said it would send past and current warehouse workers — more than a million people — an email with notices about their rights and offer more flexibility to organize its buildings. The Agreement Amazon makes it easier and faster for the NLRB to investigate claims of unfair labor practices if it believes the company has violated the rules.

Amazon has previously settled personal disputes with the labor agency, but its offer to nationalize and regulate the new settlement is greater than the previous agreement.

The company said that due to the sheer size of Amazon — which employs more than 750,000 people in its operations in the United States alone — the solution would reach one of the largest working groups in its history. If the agency finds that the company is not bound by this agreement, the technology company also agrees to the terms that allow the NLRB to bypass an administrative investigation process, a lengthy and complicated endeavor.

The deal stems from six lawsuits filed by Amazon workers alleging that the company limited their ability to organize co-workers. A copy was obtained by the New York Times.

«It’s a big deal considering the size of the Amazon,» said Wilma B, President of the NLRB under President Barack Obama. Lipman said.

Was Amazon Hiring frenzy in epidemics And is the second largest private employer in the country after Walmart, with its workforce growing to nearly 1.5 million worldwide, facing increasing labor pressure. The company is a leading example of the rise of tidal waves that are organizing workers as the epidemic redesigns what employees expect from their employers.

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This year, Amazon has been involved in the system efforts Warehouses in Alabama And New York, and the international brotherhood of the Teamsters Properly confirmed To support organizing in the organization. Other companies like Starbucks, Kellogg And Deere & Company, Also facing increasing union action.

To exacerbate the problem, Amazon is struggling to find enough staff to satisfy its growth. The company was built on a model High income Employment, it is Is now embroiled in an event known as the Great Resignation, Workers in many industries are leaving their jobs in search of a better deal for themselves.

Amazon has promised to raise wages and improve its workplace. That said It will cost $ 4 billion To deal with the labor shortage only in this quarter.

«The settlement agreement gives millions of workers across the United States an important commitment from Amazon that will not interfere with their right to work together to improve their workplace by forming a union or taking other collective action,» said NLRB’s Jennifer Abruzzo. The new general adviser appointed by President Fidel said in a statement on Thursday.

Amazon declined to comment. The company said it supports workers’ rights to form, but believes employees would better serve without the union.

Amazon and the labor company have a growing relationship and sometimes conflict. More than 75 cases Blaming unfair labor practices According to the NLRB’s database, the epidemic has been brought against Amazon since its inception. Ms. Abruzzo has issued several instructions to the agency’s employees to enforce labor laws more vigorously against employers.

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Last month, the agency Threw the results In a major union election that failed at the Amazon warehouse in Alabama, the company claimed to have inappropriately interfered with the voting. The company ordered a re-election. Amazon has not appealed this finding, although it can still do so.

Other employers, from beauty salons to retirement communities, have made nationwide settlements with the NLRB in the past while changing policies.

With the new solution, Amazon has agreed to change the policy restricting employee access to its facilities and to inform employees of what it has done, as well as to inform them of other labor rights. Amazon will have to send an email to every person who has worked on its operations since March, in order for Amazon to post notices on all of its U.S. operations and on the employee processor known as A to Z.

In the past, Amazon has openly stated that it does not misunderstand a solution. No similar language was added to the new settlement. In September, Ms. Abruzzo advised NLRB employees to rarely accept these «non-admission clauses».

Ms. Leapman said the combination of terms, including the «extraordinary» commitment to email for past and present employees, set Amazon’s solution unique and likely to be noticed by other large employers.

“This sends a signal that this public consultant is serious about enforcing the law and what they will accept,” he said.

The six lawsuits that led Amazon to settle with its workers’ agency in Chicago and Staten Island, NY, barred Amazon from being in areas such as the break room or parking lot within 15 minutes before or after their shift. Arranged.

A lawsuit was filed by Ted Mien, who works at an Amazon delivery station in Chicago. In an interview, Mr. Miin, when sending out newsletters at a demonstration in April, said a manager told him, «Your shift is over 15 minutes. You are not allowed to stay here.»

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«The Sahab staff walked out saddened by the low staff and heavy workload,» he said, adding that a security guard pressured him to leave the site while handing out leaflets.

In another case on Staten Island, Amazon threatened to call an employee who had distributed union publications on the site, said Seth Goldstein, a lawyer representing the company’s workers on Staten Island.

Workers have the right to be organized in the workplace during non-working hours Well established, Said Matthew Bodi, a former lawyer for the NLRB who teaches labor law at the University of St. Louis.

«You can wander around and chat — that’s the primary, protected integrated operating periods, and the team always protects it,» he said.

He is part of the organizing committee of the Amazonian United Chicagoland. Minnie and other workers in Chicago Reached A solution with Amazon in the spring on a 15-minute rule at another delivery station where they worked last year. And two corporate employees Settled An agreement with Amazon personally included a nationwide declaration of labor rights, but the company did not regulate it.

Mr. Goldstein said the NLRB pressured Amazon to agree to terms that would allow it to avoid its administrative investigation process, which would take place before a judge in which the parties prepare arguments and present evidence if the company is found. Violated the terms of the contract.

“They can get a court order to comply with Amazon federal labor law,” he said.

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