Andy Jassy with National Labor Relations Board logo on white background

DFree/Shutterstock wikimediacommons/NLRB (Licensed)

Amazon CEO’s anti-union comments violated law, labor board says

Andy Jassy allegedly violated labor law in interviews given to CNBC and Bloomberg, according to the NLRB.

 

Jacob Seitz

Tech

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy violated federal labor law when he made anti-union comments during CNBC and Bloomberg interviews earlier this year, according to a filing. 

A complaint filed by the National Labor Review Board late Wednesday says Jassy violated labor law when he told CNBC that employees may be less empowered in the workplace if they voted to unionize and that things would be “slower” and “more bureaucratic.”

“We happen to think they’re better off not doing so for a couple of reasons at least,” Jassy told CNBC in April. “You know, first, at a place like Amazon that empowers employees, if they see something they can do better for customers or for themselves, they can go meet in a room, decide how change it and change it. That type of empowerment doesn’t happen when you have unions.”

In an interview at the Bloomberg Tech Summit in June, Jassy doubled down on his stance.

“We happen to think they’re better off without a union,” he said.

In both of these instances, according to the NLRB Regional Director Ronald Hooks, Jassy was “interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed” in the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRB ordered that Amazon respond to the complaint by Nov. 8 and attend a hearing on the matter on Feb. 7. The complaint also asked Amazon to notify workers of their labor rights. 

An Amazon spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

The filing comes as Amazon and other tech companies face a surge of unionization efforts. 

Last week, Amazon workers in Albany rejected unionization, but the Amazon Labor Union contested the results, saying the company engaged in extreme union-busting, therefore the election could not have been fair.

The Amazon Labor Union has largely sputtered after a historic win in April at a Staten Island warehouse. Since the victory, the union has lost two elections and stalled an effort to organize a California warehouse. 

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