Amazon Labels National Labor Relations Board 'Unconstitutional' Amidst Labor Disputes

Amazon Labels National Labor Relations Board ‘Unconstitutional’ Amidst Labor Disputes

Amazon, a corporation employing over 1.54 million individuals, has asserted that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal entity tasked with safeguarding workers’ rights, is unconstitutional. This assertion was made in a legal filing on Thursday within a case where the Board has accused the e-commerce giant of discriminating against workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island who voted to unionize, as reported by The New York Times.

This challenge to the NLRB’s constitutionality echoes similar actions taken by other entities. Just last month, Elon Musk’s SpaceX filed a lawsuit against the NLRB after being accused of wrongfully terminating eight employees, branding the agency “unconstitutional” in the legal proceedings. Subsequently, grocery chain Trader Joe’s, also facing accusations of union interference, contested the constitutionality of the NLRB’s structure and organization, as reported by Bloomberg. Additionally, two Starbucks baristas have independently challenged the agency’s structure in separate lawsuits as they sought to dissolve their unions.

Amazon’s argument mirrors those of SpaceX and Trader Joe’s. In their lawsuit, Amazon’s legal team contends that “the structure of the N.L.R.B. violates the separation of powers” by impeding the executive authority outlined in Article II of the United States Constitution. Furthermore, Amazon alleges that the NLRB’s hearings can pursue legal remedies beyond what is permitted without a trial by jury.

Legal expert Seth Goldstein, representing unions involved in the Amazon and Trader Joe’s cases, stated to Reuters that these challenges to the NLRB elevate the likelihood of the matter reaching the Supreme Court. Goldstein also noted that such actions might lead employers to halt negotiations with unions in anticipation of courts stripping the federal agency of its authority. Amazon has a contentious history with the NLRB, with the agency previously finding the company in violation of federal labor laws last year.