NLRB denies Amazon’s ask to close union hearing to public

Jun 9, 2022, 1:23 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 9:46 am

A federal labor board has denied Amazon’s request to bar the public from a hearing on the company’s bid to overturn a historic union win at one of its Staten Island, New York, warehouses.

Hearings by the National Labor Relations Board are typically held in person and open to the public. But the Seattle-based company filed a motion Tuesday arguing the agency should make the hearing on the Staten Island union vote private because it will be held over Zoom.

Amazon argued that a Zoom hearing makes difficult to know if witnesses who aren’t supposed to observe the hearing are listening in, or whether the hearing is being recorded and shared with others, which the labor board prohibits. The hearing, which begins Monday, is expected to last several days.

On Thursday, Cornele Overstreet, a regional director with the NLRB field office who will oversee the hearing, denied the company’s request. He wrote in a filing that the company hasn’t “put forward any compelling reason” to depart from long-standing policy of holding public hearings.

“The Board’s hearings are not secret. Accordingly, preventing the public from viewing its important processes is not an option,” Overstreet wrote.

Amazon has pointed to “unprecedented national media coverage” as one of the reasons access to the hearing should be limited, arguing it makes it difficult to sequester witnesses.

But the fact that the union election “has garnered national and international attention from outside parties only further solidifies the importance of allowing public observation,” Overstreet wrote.

The e-commerce juggernaut has sought to overturn the union victory at one of its New York City warehouses since April, saying organizers with the nascent Amazon Labor Union and the Brooklyn office of the NLRB, which oversaw the election, acted in a way that tainted the results. The company says it wants to redo the election, but pro-union experts and labor organizers argue it’s a method to delay negotiations for a union contract.

Overstreet noted in his order that a hearing officer has issued instructions to not record the hearing.

He said he was satisfied that the hearing officer has implemented safeguards to maintain the integrity of the hearing, adding that “there exists no extraordinary circumstances to deviate from the Board’s longstanding policy of allowing public observation of the Board’s proceedings.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


(Facebook Photo/City of San Luis, Arizona)...
Associated Press

San Luis authorities receive complaints about 911 calls going across border

Authorities in San Luis say they are receiving more complaints about 911 calls mistakenly going across the border.
5 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Daylight saving time begins in most of US this weekend

No time change is observed in Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.
13 days ago
Mexican army soldiers prepare a search mission for four U.S. citizens kidnapped by gunmen in Matamo...
Associated Press

How the 4 abducted Americans in Mexico were located

The anonymous tip that led Mexican authorities to a remote shack where four abducted Americans were held described armed men and blindfolds.
13 days ago
Tom Brundy points to a newly built irrigation canal on one of the fields at his farm Tuesday, Feb. ...
Associated Press

Southwest farmers reluctant to idle farmland to save water

There is a growing sense that fallowing will have to be part of the solution to the increasingly desperate drought in the West.
20 days ago
A young bison calf stands in a pond with its herd at Bull Hollow, Okla., on Sept. 27, 2022. The cal...
Associated Press

US aims to restore bison herds to Native American lands after near extinction

U.S. officials will work to restore more large bison herds to Native American lands under a Friday order from Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
20 days ago
Children play in a dried riverbed in Flassans-sur-Issole, southern France, Wednesday, March 1, 2023...
Associated Press

Italy, France confront 2nd year of western Europe drought

ROME (AP) — Bracing for Italy’s second consecutive year of drought for the first time in decades, Premier Giorgia Meloni huddled with ministers Wednesday to start mapping out an action plan Wednesday, joining France and other nations in western Europe grappling with scant winter rain and snow. Meloni and her ministers decided to appoint an […]
22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona Photo)...
Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona

5 common causes for chronic neck pain

Neck pain can debilitate one’s daily routine, yet 80% of people experience it in their lives and 20%-50% deal with it annually.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
NLRB denies Amazon’s ask to close union hearing to public