NLRB sues Amazon over labor practices at Staten Island facility

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NLRB sues Amazon over labor practices at Staten Island facility

The National Labor Relations Board sued Amazon in federal court on Thursday, asking a judge the company to expedite “major unfair labor practices” of workers at one of its Staten Island warehouses before they begin voting in a union election next week. Asked to force him to rectify.

The case, filed in the Eastern District of New York, involves a former Amazon employee, Gerald Bryson, who was fired early in the pandemic after Amazon joined a protest over security concerns at a warehouse known as JFK8. . The company said that Mr. Bryson had violated its policy against obscene and harassing language during a confrontation with another worker at the protest, but labor agency employees determined that Mr. Bryson’s workplace was organized for them. The shooting was illegal retaliation.

The case has dragged on for nearly two years in the agency’s administrative court process, with protracted battles over issues such as what evidence is admissible. Although an administrative law judge has not yet ruled in the case, the labor agency argued that a federal judge should force Amazon to make changes immediately, due to union elections and Mr. Bryson’s involvement in the event. . Voting for this is to begin from next Friday.

If immediate injunctive relief is not provided, the board argued in its complaint, Amazon employees will “essentially conclude that the Board cannot effectively protect their rights” under federal labor law.

The agency said the judge should require Amazon to give Mr Bryson his job back, post a notice at the facility and read a court order mandated employee meetings.

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Amazon did not immediately comment on the new lawsuit, although it has repeatedly said that Mr Bryson’s firing was not retaliation and that it supports workers’ rights to speak out about workplace conditions.

In a filing before an administrative law judge, the labor agency argued that Amazon had disproportionately applied its policies against Bryson in retaliation for his protest.

Amazon had said Mr Bryson was the attacker in the controversy over the protests. In late 2020, a spokesperson said, “We believe the facts of the matter are clear: Mr Bryson was observed by other employees to bully and bully a female colleague in a racially and sexually charged manner – our standards of conduct.” Clear violation and harassment policy.”

Amazon said in its filing that it had done a thorough investigation in good faith before sacking Mr. Bryson.

Recent filings revealed that a recording captured most of the altercation between Mr. Bryson, who is black, and the female employee, who is white. Both used abusive language throughout the recording, although a detailed description provided by the agency suggests that the woman had initiated several remarks and tried several times to persuade Mr. Bryson to fight her, which she did not. did.

Mr Bryson was fired, but the woman received “the first warning”.

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