Amazon exec pushed for mailbox to be installed on site of high-stakes union drive

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An Amazon-sponsored billboard urging employees to instrumentality their unionization ballots is seen connected March 28, 2021 successful Bessemer, Alabama.

Elijah Nouvelage | Getty Images

Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon's worldwide user concern and a apical lieutenant of Jeff Bezos, supported an effort to instal a mailbox astatine the tract of an Alabama warehouse during a caller high-stakes national election, according to documents presented Monday during a labour committee hearing.

The National Labor Relations Board started holding hearings past week to reappraisal objections to a failed unionization thrust that wrapped up past period astatine Amazon's warehouse successful Bessemer, Alabama. Bessemer employees overwhelmingly rejected unionization, with less than 30% of the votes tallied successful favour of joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

The installation of a mailbox extracurricular the Bessemer installation has emerged arsenic a cardinal item successful the RWDSU's argument that the NLRB should propulsion retired the results of the election. Amazon has argued that it installed the mailbox to marque voting casual for employees, portion the national alleges that the mailbox whitethorn person created the content of surveillance and sowed disorder among employees by suggesting that Amazon was progressive successful collecting and counting votes.

On Monday, the RWDSU presented emails during the proceeding that showed Amazon lobbied the U.S. Postal Service to instal the mailbox extracurricular of the warehouse.

"Please fto maine cognize wherever we basal connected this — this is simply a highly disposable Dave Clark initiative," Becky Moore, a elder manager of proscription procurement and strategy astatine Amazon, wrote successful an email to USPS officials successful January. "Happy to acceptable up a clip to sermon time if needed, but we would similar to recognize the timeline up of america truthful we tin study backmost up to leadership."

Jay Smith, manager of endeavor accounts for the USPS, testified during the proceeding that helium ne'er spoke to Clark directly.

In abstracted emails presented by the RWDSU, Brian Palmer, a elder manager with Amazon's last-mile nationalist argumentation squad successful Washington, D.C., asked Smith whether the institution could spot a "vote here" sticker supra the mailbox's outgoing message slot. Smith testified during the proceeding that helium told Amazon they couldn't bash that.

Smith was aboriginal asked astir a structure that was placed astir the mailbox with a motion that work "Speak for yourself! Mail your ballot here." Smith testified that helium learned from images published successful the Washington Post that Amazon had erected a structure astir the mailbox.

"I was amazed due to the fact that I was asked, 'Can thing carnal beryllium enactment connected the box?'" Smith said. "I said no. I did not privation to spot thing other enactment astir that container indicating that it was a vote."

The grounds comes aft Bessemer worker Kevin Jackson testified past week that helium saw Amazon information guards unfastened the mailbox, which was lone expected to beryllium accessible by the USPS. An Amazon spokesperson told Bloomberg that it didn't person entree to outgoing message and denied immoderate wrongdoing.

The NLRB volition reappraisal the union's objections to the predetermination and see whether they are grounds for overturning the results. The bureau could bid a caller proceeding to beryllium held astatine the facility. Either enactment tin entreaty the determination director's ruling to the NLRB committee successful Washington.