Bonus for termination: This is how Amazon is fighting the union

Amazon is trying to get employees of its logistics center in Alabama to quit with bonuses – so that they cannot take part in the upcoming vote on a union.

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Decision-making battle in Alabama: Some experts believe that the upcoming vote to form a union in late March could point the way for Amazon. If the local employees vote in favor, it could trigger a wave for other locations or even countries – and Amazon would have to negotiate a collective agreement in the USA, among other places.

Amazon Reward: $ 2,000 for cancellation

Therefore, Amazon is pushing its measures against the vote. Now the company is even supposed to make the termination palatable to certain employees at the logistics center in Birmingham (Alabama) with a bonus, as reported by the paydayreport.com portal. Employees who worked in at least two high seasons – probably during the Christmas season – would receive $ 2,000 if they quit on their own, and employees with three so-called peak seasons would receive it as much as $ 3,000.

“They go all out, they pull out all the stops.”

Amazon’s goal: If the employees quickly respond to the offer, they would not have the right to vote in the upcoming election to join the union – Amazon would have virtually bought out potential opponents in its own ranks. “That should be illegal, how can you pay someone to quit,” says 48-year-old Amazon worker Jennifer Bates. “They go all out, they pull out all the stops.” Amazon is said to have even offered to hire the employees again after their termination – and the election – they say. Union representatives assume that when they look for new employees, Amazon will also pay attention to whether they would vote for or against a union.

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Under US federal labor law, the Amazon rewards could be viewed as bribery and even result in union elections being canceled at first, but reissued later. We asked Amazon USA for a comment.

Amazon’s measures against the vote are sometimes taking on bizarre forms: Amazon is said to have managed, through the local authorities, to shorten the waiting time at the traffic lights in front of the warehouse so that union representatives cannot contact the Amazon workers.

Published: February 23, 2021

/ Written by Markus Gärtner

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