Amazon Labor Union loses union election on Staten Island : NPR


Staff stroll towards an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island, New York, on April 25, 2022. It is the second Amazon facility on Staten Island to vote on whether or not to hitch the Amazon Labor Union.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Photos

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Michael M. Santiago/Getty Photos

Staff stroll towards an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island, New York, on April 25, 2022. It is the second Amazon facility on Staten Island to vote on whether or not to hitch the Amazon Labor Union.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Photos

After a breakthrough election victory at Amazon, the Amazon Labor Union fell far wanting profitable sufficient votes to unionize a second warehouse on Staten Island in New York.

The vote was 618 votes in opposition to the union to 380 votes in favor.

Roughly 1,600 staff had been eligible to vote within the election, which was held in-person over 4 days final week. It is the second of 4 Amazon warehouses on Staten Island that organizers had set their sights on.

The tally comes as a disappointment to the Amazon Labor Union, an upstart group based by former warehouse supervisor Chris Smalls and his co-worker Derrick Palmer, who nonetheless works inside the huge achievement heart that voted in favor of the union final month with 55% p.c of the votes. Some 8,300 staff are employed at that warehouse.

As immediately’s vote depend was underway, the Amazon Labor Union tweeted, “Regardless of the result of the election, staff are uniting for change at LDJ5, JFK8 & around the globe,” referring to the 2 warehouses on Staten Island which have voted up to now.

The Amazon Labor Union has been calling for increased wages, longer breaks, and higher well being and security insurance policies. Final week, Amazon met one of many union’s calls for by making everlasting a pandemic-era coverage of permitting staff to maintain their cell telephones with them whereas they work. The corporate had indicated it deliberate to roll again the coverage, which was meant to present staff a technique to talk with their households round private emergencies.

In the meantime, Amazon has continued its anti-union messaging to staff, arguing by so-called “captive viewers” conferences that they’d be higher off dealing straight with Amazon slightly than by a union. The corporate can also be aggressively searching for to overturn the outcomes of the primary Staten Island election.

Inside per week of that election, Amazon filed greater than two dozen objections, charging, amongst different issues, that union organizers harassed and threatened workers who weren’t supporting the union and that the Nationwide Labor Relations Board’s regional workplace in Brooklyn favored the union and facilitated its victory. The Nationwide Labor Relations Board granted Amazon’s request to maneuver the case to a distinct area for consideration, which is typical process when a area’s conduct has been challenged.

In an order issued Friday, the NLRB regional director primarily based in Phoenix, the place the case has landed, ordered a listening to to be held on Could 23, concluding that the proof described by Amazon “may very well be grounds for overturning the election.”

Assist for the Amazon Labor Union grew since March, when few doubted that an upstart union led by former and present Amazon staff may defeat the e-commerce big in a union election.

Within the month because the union’s win within the first election, its president Smalls has met with members of Congress, rallied with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders, appeared on The Every day Present with comic Trevor Noah, and shared a stage with storied labor chief Delores Huerta. He is additionally talked with different unions, together with the Teamsters, who vowed final 12 months to arrange Amazon from coast to coast, hiring a nationwide director to spearhead the hassle.

Smalls says he is heard from staff at greater than 100 Amazon services across the nation who’re additionally focused on unionizing. Any facility searching for to carry a union election would want to collect the signatures of at the very least 30% of staff, an infinite problem at Amazon given the excessive charges of turnover at its warehouses.

In the meantime, there’s nonetheless no consequence from the do-over union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. A whole bunch of contested ballots have but to be resolved, and each Amazon and the Retail, Wholesale and Division Retailer Union, which organized the Bessemer marketing campaign, have filed objections.


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