Amazon employees are now denied access buildings and workspaces if they don’t work that day, the company said.
The policy change comes amid a feud with unions, who have criticized the policy for potentially hindering its ability to sustain itself union trips and meetings.
Under the new policy, employees are also prohibited from entering the buildings before or after their shift.
Amazon.com, Inc.’s BHM1 fulfillment center is seen before sunrise on March 29, 2021 in Bessemer, Alabama. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP)
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our employees and the physical security of our buildings,” said Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel. “This Building Access Policy applies to building interiors and work areas.”
The spokesman said off-duty employees are not prohibited from meeting with colleagues in “non-work areas” outside of the company’s facilities.
said Amazon the new off-duty policy “will be enforced in a non-discriminatory manner” to punish union efforts.
EASTVALE, CA – AUGUST 31: A worker sorts out packages at the outbound dock at the Amazon fulfillment center in Eastvale on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda/MediaNews Group/The Press-Enterprise via Getty Images)
The move follows a vote by Amazon workers at a warehouse on Staten Island, New York, to unionize in April.
The new directive, which came into effect on Thursday, could hinder this efforts of union organizers to meet with colleagues, they said.
Rev. Ryan Brown, an Amazon warehouse worker in Garner, North Carolina, Trying to get his camp to follow the Staten Island vote, he called the new policy “a direct response” to unions.
“On our days off, we come to work and engage our colleagues in the break rooms. This was in direct response to try to stop the organization by any means necessary,” Brown said.
Amazon explained the new policy as a security concern.
A tractor-trailer truck drives past an Amazon sorting center under construction in the Otay Mesa neighborhood of San Diego, California, on Wednesday, March 9, 2022. Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images
“Part of this is knowing who is in our buildings at any given time so that we can quickly locate and account for everyone in an emergency,” it said in a statement to employees.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.