The National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint on Wednesday alleging that Amazon CEO Andy Jassy violated labor law in two interviews he gave this year where he discussed his stance on unions at the e-commerce giant.
Jassy’s comments were made after workers in Staten Island voted to organize in April with the Amazon Labor Union, the first warehouse of the e-commerce giant to do so. This year, the NLRB has repeatedly found Amazon to have violated workers’ rights during a handful of unionization campaigns.
The Amazon Labor Union praised the NLRB’s decision to file a complaint.
“These plutocrats will no longer threaten workers in interviews with the media,” said attorney Seth Goldstein, who filed the charge on behalf of the Amazon Labor Union. “They’re being held accountable.”
Kelly Nantel, a spokesperson for Amazon, said that the allegations were without merit and that Jassy’s comments are protected by the National Labor Relations Act and decades of NLRB precedent.
“The comments lawfully explain Amazon’s views on unionization and the way it could affect the ability of our employees to deal directly with their managers, and they began with a clear recognition of our employees’ right to organize and in no way contained threats of reprisal,” Nantel said.
Amazon has repeatedly defended its actions and has said that it believes a direct relationship with employees is better for workers.
(Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
Labor board rejects Amazon’s objections to union victory
The first interview cited by the NLRB took place April 14, when Jassy told Andrew Ross Sorkin of CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that employees who were represented by a union would be less empowered in the workplace, making it more difficult for them to have direct relationships with management and making things “much slower” and “much more bureaucratic.”
That was followed by a June 8 interview during the Bloomberg Tech Summit, when Jassy said employees were better off without a union. He also echoed his CNBC comments about relationships with managers and the speed of work.
Under the Biden administration, the NLRB has taken a more aggressive approach to cracking down on employers who interfere with workers’ unionization efforts.
Amazon will now have the opportunity to settle with the Amazon Labor Union or take the case before an administrative law judge. The NLRB is requesting that Amazon mail and email workers a notice about their labor rights.
Sign inThe National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint on Wednesday alleging that Amazon CEO Andy Jassy violated labor law in two interviews he gave this year where he discussed his stance on unions at the e-commerce giant.Jassy’s comments were made after workers in Staten Island voted to organize in April with the Amazon Labor […]