Two Amazon security guards unlocked a mailbox that was used to hold mail-in ballots for a unionization election, a worker told a hearing on May 14, 2021.
Kevin Jackson, who works at an Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama, said he witnessed the guards go to the mailbox and use keys to open one of its doors, Bloomberg reported.
Jackson was speaking during ongoing hearings on post-election objections. The attempt to unionize workers at the warehouse failed last month, but the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union asked the National Labor Relations Board to hold hearings to address what it described as a tainted election.
The board ordered the election to take place via mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A mailbox was installed on Amazon property by the U.S. Postal Service at the request of the company—which opposed the unionization effort—for workers to mail the ballots to the board.
The union alleged in a motion that “it is highly prejudicial for the Board to allow a process that creates the impression that the Employer, not the Board, controls the mechanics of the election, and argues that the installation of the mailbox was objectional because it created such an impression,” according to a board document.
The union said that employees were asked if and how they had voted, and were told to use the mailbox, which was in front of the building, to cast their ballots.
Jackson testified that he was departing work one day when he saw the guards go to the mailbox and one of them use a key to open a part on the bottom.
“What he was getting out or looking for, I’m not sure,” he said.
Amazon told news outlets in a statement that its access was restricted to the portion of the box where incoming mail was held.