In an indication that federal labor officers are carefully scrutinizing administration conduct throughout union campaigns, the National Labor Relations Board stated Friday that it had discovered benefit in accusations that Amazon and Starbucks had violated labor regulation.
At Amazon, the labor board discovered benefit to prices that the corporate had required staff to attend anti-union conferences at an unlimited Staten Island warehouse the place the Amazon Labor Union gained a surprising election victory final month. The dedication was communicated to the union Friday by an lawyer for the labor board’s regional workplace in Brooklyn, in accordance with Seth Goldstein, a lawyer representing the union.
Such conferences, typically generally known as “captive audience” conferences, are authorized below present labor board precedent. But final month, the board’s common counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, issued a memo saying that the precedent was at odds with the underlying federal statute, and she indicated that she would search to problem it.
In the identical submitting of prices, the Amazon Labor Union accused the corporate of threatening to withhold advantages from workers in the event that they voted to unionize, and of inaccurately indicating to workers that they may very well be fired if the warehouse have been to unionize and they did not pay union dues. The labor board additionally discovered benefit to those accusations, in accordance with an e-mail from the lawyer on the regional workplace, Matt Jackson.
Mr. Jackson stated the company would quickly problem a grievance reflecting these accusations until Amazon settled the case. The grievance can be litigated earlier than an administrative regulation decide, whose choice may very well be appealed to the labor board in Washington.
Mr. Goldstein applauded Ms. Abruzzo and the regional workplace for taking “decisive steps ending required captive audience meetings” and stated the best to unionize “will be protected by ending Amazon’s inherently coercive work practices.”
Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokeswoman, stated in an announcement that “these allegations are false and we look forward to showing that through the process.”
At Starbucks, the place the union has gained preliminary votes at greater than 50 shops since December, the labor board issued a grievance Friday over a collection of prices the union filed, most of them in February, accusing the corporate of unlawful conduct. Those accusations embrace firing workers in retaliation for supporting the union; threatening workers’ capability to obtain new advantages in the event that they select to unionize; requiring staff to be out there for a minimal variety of hours to stay employed at a unionized retailer with out bargaining over the change, as a solution to power out not less than one union supporter; and successfully promising advantages to staff in the event that they resolve to not unionize.
In addition to these allegations, the labor board discovered benefit to accusations that the corporate intimidated staff by closing Buffalo-area shops and partaking in surveillance of staff whereas they have been on the job. All of these actions can be unlawful. Starbucks has repeatedly denied that it has violated staff’ labor rights.
In an announcement, Starbucks Workers United, the department of the union representing staff there, stated that the discovering “confirms the extent and depravity of Starbucks’s conduct in Western New York for the better part of a year.” It added: “Starbucks will be held accountable for the union-busting minefield they forced workers to walk through in fighting for their right to organize.”