Amazon Labels National Labor Relations Board as ‘Unconstitutional’

Amazon, an employer of over 1.54 million individuals, has stated that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal organization charged with defending employees’ rights, is unconstitutional. This statement was part of a legal filing on Thursday related to a case where the NLRB accused Amazon of prejudice against workers in a Staten Island warehouse who had chosen to form a union.

Amazon is not the lone company to contest the constitutionality of the Board. SpaceX, Elon Musk’s organization, sued the NLRB in the previous month after being accused of illegally firing eight employees, labeling the agency as “unconstitutional” in the legal proceedings. Soon after, Trader Joe’s, a supermarket chain accused by the NLRB of suppressing unions, called the NLRB’s setup and administration “unconstitutional” according to Bloomberg. Additionally, two separate lawsuits saw Starbucks baristas individually confronting the agency’s structure while trying to disband their unions.

Amazon’s contention is akin to the current claims brought forward by both SpaceX and Trader Joe’s. The company’s legal representatives argued in the lawsuit that the NLRB’s arrangement infringes on the “separation of powers”, obstructing the executive power detailed in the United States Constitution’s Article II. Furthermore, Amazon alleges that the NLRB’s hearings can request legal redress exceeding what’s permitted without a jury trial.

Seth Goldstein, a legal representative for unions in the Amazon and Trader Joe cases, informed Reuters that these objections to the NLRB enhance the probability of the issue appearing before the Supreme Court. This might potentially make employers halt negotiations with unions, anticipating that courts may eventually deprive the federal organization of its authority. Goldstein added that Amazon had an argumentative past with the NLRB, which had claimed the company violated federal labor rules the previous year.