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Amazon worker alleges security had keys to mailbox used in union vote

Amazon worker alleges security had keys to mailbox used in union vote
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Security guards at Amazon’s Bessemer, Ala., facility had keys to a mailbox that the company recommended workers use to vote in the unionization election earlier this year, a worker at the facility alleged during a National Labor Relations Board hearing Friday.

Kevin Jackson said during the sixth day of hearings over the union’s challenge to the results that he had seen two guards use keys to open one of the thirteen slots on the mailbox.

The allegation comes after the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union, which would have represented the Amazon workers in the event of a union win, formally challenged the initial loss by a 2-1 margin last month.

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The challenge included complaints about the mailbox.

Emails show Amazon pushed the United States Postal Service to install a mailbox in the Bessemer parking lot after its efforts to have an in-person election fell short.

The union argued the mailbox created the perception that Amazon was running the election rather than the NLRB, and created the impression that workers were being surveilled.

The allegation that employees connected with Amazon had access to the mailbox was not included in the complaint. It may also be difficult to corroborate, and had not been mentioned by earlier witnesses.

However, if the allegation is proven true, it could be a key piece of evidence in the union’s case to have the result scrapped, according to John Logan, an expert on anti-union strategy at San Francisco State University.

“This sounds like really hugely significant testimony that is the kind of thing that could result in the decision to potentially overturn the results in order to rerun the election,” Logan told The Hill. 

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A company spokesperson told The Hill that Amazon "had access only to the incoming mailbox where we received mail addressed to the building."

"The facts will become clear when we have a chance to present them next week," they added.

The online retail giant previously denied having any ulterior motive in establishing the mailbox, saying it was a “simple, secure, and completely optional way to make it easy for employees to vote, no more and no less."

Updated 5:51 p.m.