Amazon disobeyed labour laws: US judge

Amazon executives had engaged in illegal behaviour threatening to withhold wage increases and benefits from workers if they voted for unionisation.


An administrative judge in the US has declared that Amazon violated labour laws by threatening to withhold wage increases and benefits from workers at two New York facilities if they voted for unionisation. 

The judge, in his recent ruling, found that Amazon executives had engaged in illegal behaviour by implying that employees who unionised would see their pay stagnate during negotiations, while those who did not unionise would receive salary increases and new benefits.

The administrative judge ordered Amazon to display notices at its warehouses, reminding employees of their right to participate in collective bargaining and stating that the company will not make similar threats in the future. The case was heard by the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB).

The judge dismissed a majority of the allegations, including allegations that Amazon executives threatened to reduce wages to cover union dues.

An Amazon representative commented on the ruling, stating that they are pleased that the judge dismissed 19 out of nearly all of the allegations in this case and accurately labelled the remaining 3 as ‘not obvious or clear cut’.

The representative further adds that the facts continue to show that the teams in Amazon buildings work hard to do the right thing, and that most of the claims pushed by outside groups with an agenda are without merit.

Amazon contested the ALU’s victory by filing objections with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). However, the NLRB rejected Amazon’s objections and confirmed the vote in January, ordering the company to negotiate in good faith with the ALU.

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