Continuing a long American tradition of wealthy corporate rulers making union-busting comments, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy went on a media blitz in 2022 to warn of the horrors of workplace-changing unions. (It’s certainly unfortunate that his emergency PSA coincided with a surge in organizing efforts at Amazon.) Unfortunately for Mr. Jassy, ​​the US still has a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and CNBC reports that the board ruled Wednesday that his anti-union comments violated federal labor laws.

Jassi appeared CNBC in April 2022 to say that if employees vote yes and join a union, they will become less empowered and can expect things to become “much slower” and “more bureaucratic”. In an interview with Bloomberghe added, “If you see something on the line that you think might be better for your team or you or your customers, you can’t just go to your manager and say, ‘Let’s change it.’

He completed his union busting trifecta of New York Times DealBook conference where the CEO said a union-free workplace is not “bureaucratic, not slow.”

It’s the latest in Amazon’s long history of union busting.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy gestures to the audience as part of a conversation on stage.  Black background.


NLRB Judge Brian Gee said Jassy violated labor law by suggesting that employees would be less empowered or “better off” without a union. Gee, however, said the CEO’s other comments about changing labor-employer relations were legitimate. The difference, according to the judge, is that the more aggressive quotes “go beyond simply commenting on the employee-employer relationship.”

Gee added that the comments “threaten employees that if they choose to unionize, they will become less empowered and find it harder to get things done quickly.” The judge recommended that Amazon “cease and desist” from such comments in the future. The company is also required to post and share a note about the judge’s order with all of its US employees.

In December, Jassy’s stock in Amazon was appreciated at $328 million, making him one of America’s richest CEOs.

In a statement to CNBC, an Amazon spokesperson said the judge’s ruling “reflects poorly on the state of free speech rights today.” Because, hey, what kind of free country do we have if a retailer can’t tell low-income workers bedtime scare stories about the dangers of voting to empower themselves in the workplace?