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Amazon Objects To Staten Island Union Election Victory



Protestors hold signs and march on a picket line across from Amazon's Whole Foods Market | Amazon Objects To Staten Island Union Election Victory | featured

Days after getting called the top US company to work for, Amazon objected to the formation of a Staten Island union. The online retail titan accused the new Staten Island union of threatening workers unless they voted to organize.

Meanwhile, attorneys for the newly-formed labor organization branded Amazon’s allegations as “really absurd.”

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Amazon Objects To Staten Island Union Election Results

The Amazon logo seen at the Amazon Palo Alto campus in the evening | Amazon Objects To Staten Island Union Election Results

Last Wednesday, Amazon filed its objection to the results of the Staten Island union election. Then, it requested the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to give it more time to detail its “substantial” objections. 

Among Amazon’s objections is its allegation that the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) interfered with the election process. The company alleged that ALU representatives interfered with employees who were in line to vote.

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It also said that the long wait line depressed the turnout. Around 58% of eligible workers voted over several days. Eric Milner, a lawyer representing the ALU, laughed at Amazon’s claims.

He dismissed the claims as false and expects the NLRB to overrule them. “To say that the Amazon Labor Union was threatening employees is really absurd. The Amazon Labor Union is Amazon employees,” he said. 

Staten Island Union Becomes First Warehouse With Organized Labor

Last week, workers in Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse voted to form the company’s first union.

Once the NLRB certifies the election results, organized labor will now have a foothold in the US’s second largest employer. This gives the union a bigger say on how the company operates and manages personnel. 

Around 55% of workers in the JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island voted to join the ALU. The organization is presently campaigning for higher pay and increased job security for many of Amazon’s hourly workers.

Since the Staten Island union’s victory, workers from 50 other Amazon warehouses are in discussions to join the ALU. 

Alabama Workers Also Filed Objections To Their Union Election

Meanwhile, the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) also filed objections to their own union election.

The RWDSU is currently losing a bid to organize a labor union in Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama warehouse.

This is the second election in Bessemer. The NLRB ordered the warehouse to conduct the second election after ruling that Amazon interfered in the first one. 

This current election outcome is under protest after the RWDSu’s objections. In addition, hundreds of cast ballots are being challenged.

Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokesperson, voiced the company’s desire to ensure that the majority rules. “We want our employees’ voices to be heard, and we hope the NLRB counts every valid vote,” Nantel said. 

RWDSU Complained Amazon Interfered Yet Again

In its filing, the RWDSU accused Amazon of unlawfully removing pro-union literature from non-work areas. It also accused the company of terminating an employee who spoke in favor of unionizing during work meetings.

The RWDSU insists that these instances were enough for the NLRB to invalidate the latest election result.

At the same time, Amazon also hurled similar accusations against the RWDSU. The retailer said that the union continued to communicate with workers using a mailbox on warehouse property. The company also said that objections are part of the standard process. 

Watch the WION news video reporting that Amazon: Workers threatened to unionize:

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