The conflict between Amazon and the National Labor Relations Committee (NLRB) has taken another turn after the company reached a nationwide settlement with the agency. Amazon has agreed to remind current and former workers across the U.S. of their employment rights on notices posted in the workplace, and on the mobile app and website for workers. Amazon will also send a copy of the notice to the email address it has on record for all employees who worked at its facilities between March 22 and December 22.
The notice informs workers that they have a legal right to join, form or assist in a union. They can choose a representative to negotiate with Amazon on their behalf and “work together with other employees for your benefit and protection.”
In addition, workers have more space to organize in the company’s facilities. In a statement, Amazon said it would not tell them to leave the property or threaten disciplinary action “when you exercise your right to engage in union or protected concerted activities by talking to your associates in external non-working areas during non-working hours.” Nor will they ask workers about union activities or why they are talking to associates, the notice said.
It will be easier for the NLRB to sue Amazon if the agency believes it has violated the agreement. In such cases, the company has agreed to allow the NLRB to waive the administrative hearing process, which may take some time to complete.
“This settlement agreement provides a key commitment for Amazon to millions of its workers across the United States not to interfere with their right to act collectively to improve their workplace by forming unions or taking other collective action,” said NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo. New York Times. Engadget contacted Amazon for comment.
The agreement covers six cases initiated by workers who complained that Amazon was hampering their efforts in the organization. The company has previously handled NLRB cases on an individual basis, but this is a broader agreement. The agreement includes references to employees, but not to contractors, who make up the majority of Amazon’s delivery workforce. It is unclear whether they will be given the same rights and protection under the agreement.
The NLRB and Amazon have been in conflict lately. In November, a workers’ committee ordered Amazon to repeat the union election at a warehouse in Alabama. Amazon was said to have intervened in the process. Workers at other facilities have tried to get organized – those at the New York City Performance Center are trying to reunite after failing to get enough signatures last time.
Amazon has long been criticized for its working conditions. Lawmakers this week sought answers from the company as to whether its policy contributed to the deaths of six people after a tornado hit a warehouse in Illinois. Amazon recently warned its workers that an even more demanding job than usual during the vacation period could have a significant impact on their mental health.
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