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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Amazon barred off-duty warehouse workers from facilities

Amazon Barred Off-Duty Warehouse Workers From Facilities

by Hallelujah Hadero | The Associated Press

Amazon is barring off-duty warehouse workers from the company’s facilities, a move organizers say could hinder union drives.

Under a policy shared with workers on Amazon’s internal app, employees are prohibited from moving into buildings or other work areas on their scheduled days, and before or after their shifts.

An Amazon spokesperson said the policy does not prohibit off-duty employees from joining their coworkers in “non-work areas” outside company buildings.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our employees and the physical security of our buildings,” said Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel. “This policy regarding building access applies to building interiors and work areas. It does not limit employee access to non-work areas outside of our facilities.”

The new policy notice on Thursday said the off-duty rule “shall not be applied in a discriminatory manner” against employees seeking to unionize. But organizers say the policy itself will hinder their efforts to gain support from colleagues during campaigns.

“On our vacation days, we come to work and we engage with our coworkers in the break room,” said Rev. Ryan Brown, an Amazon warehouse employee in Garner, North Carolina, who is busy organizing his workplace after a labor win. aims at. Staten Island, New York, where workers at an Amazon warehouse voted to unionize in April.

“It was a direct reaction to that, trying to stop the event by any means possible,” Brown said.

Seattle-based Amazon previously barred employees from entering non-work areas 15 minutes before or after their shift. The company scrapped that policy in December, when it struck a deal with the National Labor Relations Board to allow workers to organize more freely. Amazon also agreed to give workers a heads up if it elected to “restore a valid rule regarding off-duty employee access” to its facilities. An NLRB spokesperson declined to comment on the company’s new policy.

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