NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon, under pressure to improve worker rights, has reached a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board to allow its workers to freely organize — and without retaliation.
According to the agreement, the online behemoth said it would reach out to its warehouse workers — former and current — via email who were on the job anytime from March 22 to now to notify them of their organizing rights. Amazon’s 750,000 workers in America have the right to organise within its buildings. The settlement provides more space. Amazon has pledged that it won’t discipline employees or call police on workers who are participating in union activities in non-work zones during non-work hours.
According to the terms of the settlement, the labor board will be able to more easily sue Amazon— without going through a laborious process of administrative hearings — if it found that the online company reneged on its agreement.
“Whether a company has 10 employees or a million employees, it must abide by the National Labor Relations Act,” said NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo, in a statement. “This settlement agreement provides a crucial commitment from Amazon to millions of its workers across the United States that it will not interfere with their right to act collectively to improve their workplace by forming a union or taking other collective action.”
She added that “working people should know that the National Labor Relations Board will vigorously seek to ensure Amazon’s compliance with the settlement and continue to defend the labor rights of all workers.”
Amazon.com Inc., based in Seattle, couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.
Amazon was faced with organizing efforts in New York City and Alabama last year. These efforts are being made amid increased labor unrest in other American companies. Kellogg, Starbucks and Deere are all fighting against the organizing effort.
This is because workers are facing labor shortages, which gives them a unique advantage in wage negotiations. They also demand more flexibility and unrest in their work hours.