NLRB Finds Amazon Unlawfully Confiscated Union Literature

Alma Delia Garcia of New York Communities for Change speaks during a protest organized by New York Communities for Change and Make the Road New York in front of the Jeff Bezos' Manhattan residence in New York on December 02, 2020. (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP) (Photo by KENA …
KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has reportedly found that e-commerce giant Amazon unlawfully confiscated union literature from workers.

Vice’s Motherboard reports that according to charges from the NLRB, e-commerce giant Amazon illegally prohibited one employee from passing out pro-union literature to colleagues. The literature was reportedly confiscated, and workers were given the impression that any union organization activity at the company’s Staten Island fulfillment center in New York was under surveillance.

Breitbart News reported this week that following the failure of a vote to unionize at e-commerce giant Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, the NLRB determined that Amazon violated labor laws during the voting process. Following the vote failure in April, union representatives accused Amazon of illegally interfering with employees’ votes in an effort to prevent them from unionizing.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Breitbart News previously reported on the union’s complaints against Amazon following the vote failure, writing:

The union previously alleged that Amazon threatened employees with the loss of their jobs or shutdown of the warehouse, as well as the loss of compensation and benefits if a union was formed. The union also alleged that Amazon targeted workers who asked questions at meetings by removing them from future meetings, possibly scaring other employees into silence.

The union also focused on a mailbox installed by the U.S. Postal Service at Amazon’s request outside the Bessemer facility. The union alleges that the mailbox could have coerced workers into incorrectly believing Amazon was conducting the election and therefore feeling pressured to vote against unionizing.

Now, an NLRB investigation has found that Amazon illegally prohibited a Staten Island employee named Connor Spence from distributing pro-union literature in a company break room in May.

The literature was reportedly confiscated, which is also in violation of U.S. labor law, according to the NLRB. Spence, a 25-year-old warehouse worker in Amazon’s JFK8 fulfillment center in Staten Island, told Motherboard that while distributing pro-union leaflets at the company break room in May, he was approached by an Amazon security guard who said he did not have permission to hand out such information.

Spence told Motherboard: “He took the union literature away and wouldn’t give it back. I filed the charge so that there’s accountability in place that prevents them from doing this in the future.”

People hold placards during a protest in support of Amazon workers in Union Square, New York on February 20, 2021. – New York state’s attorney general on February 17, 2021 sued Amazon, claiming the e-commerce giant failed to adequately protect its warehouse workers from risks during the Covid-19 pandemic. The move comes days after Amazon filed its own legal action seeking to block New York state Attorney General Letitia James from taking steps to enforce federal workplace safety regulations. (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP) (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

“Amazon is very obviously anti-union. They cross the line a lot when it comes to stopping workers from unionizing,” Spence said. “Unfortunately, labor law isn’t very strong in our country, but I’m hoping Amazon cares about its image and these stains on their record.”

An Amazon spokesperson provided the following statement to Breitbart News: “Our employees had a chance to be heard during a noisy time when all types of voices were weighing into the national debate, and at the end of the day, they voted overwhelmingly in favor of a direct connection with their managers and the company. Their voice should be heard above all else, and we plan to appeal to ensure that happens.”

Read more at Motherboard here.

Update — Added a statement from Amazon

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address


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