Amazon reaches labor agreement, giving workers more power to organize

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Seattle – Amazon is facing increasing scrutiny over labor rights, and this month agreed with the National Labor Relations Board to allow its warehouse staff to be easily organized in the workplace as part of a nationwide settlement.

Under the settlement, which was finalized on Wednesday, Amazon said it would send past and current warehouse workers – more than a million people – with notices of their rights and provide greater flexibility to organize its buildings. The deal made it easier and faster for the NLRB to investigate claims of unfair labor practices if Amazon believed it had breached 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. The technology company also agreed to terms that would allow the NLRB to bypass an administrative investigation process, a lengthy and arduous task, if the agency finds that the company is not bound by this agreement.

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.

Wilma B, who was the head of the NLRB under former President Barack Obama. Leapman said, “This is a big deal in terms of the size of the Amazon.”

Amazon, which is obsessed with hiring in epidemics, is the second largest private employer in the country after Walmart, and its employees have grown to nearly 1.5 million worldwide, facing increased 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.

This year, Amazon has been involved in consolidation efforts in warehouses in Alabama and New York, and has formally pledged to support the organization at Teamsters International Brotherhood. Other companies such as Starbucks, Kellogg & Deere & Company are also facing growth in union action.

To exacerbate the problem, Amazon is struggling to find enough staff to satisfy its growth. The company was built on the model of high-turnover employment, which has now become a thing of the past, and workers in many industries are leaving their jobs in search of a better deal.

Amazon has promised to raise wages and improve its workplace. It said it would spend $ 4 billion this quarter alone to tackle labor shortages.

“This settlement agreement gives Amazon a vital commitment to millions of workers across the United States 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.

Amazon and Labor are in a growing relationship and sometimes conflict. According to the NLRB database, more than 75 lawsuits have been filed against Amazon alleging unfair labor practices since the outbreak began. Ms. Abruzzo has issued several instructions to the agency’s employees to enforce labor laws more aggressively against employers.

Last month, the agency released key union election results that failed at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama, claiming the company had inappropriately interfered with the voting. The Labor Board has 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 its 15-minute rule nationwide and notify employees that it has done so, as well as 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 said it does not deliberately admit settlement mistakes. No similar language was added to the new settlement. In September, Ms. Abruzzo advised NLRB employees to rarely accept these “non-admission clauses”.

The combination of terms including email “extraordinary” commitment to past and present employees makes Amazon’s solution stand out, as other big employers may notice. Leapman said.

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

The six lawsuits, which led to an Amazon settlement with an agency involving its workers in Chicago and Staten Island, NY, allege that Amazon barred them from being in areas such as the break room or parking lot within 15 minutes before or after their shift. Prevents any organizing skills.

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.”

“Saga staff were upset to see less staff and more workload and walked out,” 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.

The right to set up in the workplace when not working, when not working, is well established for workers, said Matthew Bodi, a former lawyer for the NLRB who now 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 a member of the organizing committee of Amazonians United Chicagoland. Miin and other workers in Chicago reached an agreement with Amazon in the spring by a 15-minute rule at another delivery station where they worked last year. The two corporate employees entered into a personal agreement with Amazon, which included a nationwide declaration of labor rights, but it was not protected by the agency.

Mr. Goldstein said he was “impressed” by Amazon’s pressure to accept terms that would allow the NLRB to bypass its executive investigation process, which would take place before a judge in which the parties prepare arguments and present evidence if found to have broken the company. Terms of the contract.

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

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