Amazon workers reject union offer at second Staten Island warehouse | New York

Amazon warehouse workers overwhelmingly rejected a union offer on Monday, dealing a blow to organizers who pulled off the first successful U.S. organizing effort in the retail giant’s history last month.

This time around, warehouse workers cast 618 votes, or about 62% against the union, giving Amazon enough support to fend off a second union victory as the tech giant continues to try to undo its first. defeat.

According to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which oversees the process, 380 workers, or 38%, voted in favor of the base union. Turnout was around 61%, with around 1,600 workers eligible to vote, according to a voters list provided by Amazon.

The few ballots contested by Amazon or the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) were not enough to influence the outcome. Both parties can file objections to the election by next Monday.

On Twitter, ALU said it would continue to organize at the facility “and beyond.”

The count is over. The election ended without the union being recognized at the LDJ5 sorting center in Staten Island. The organization will continue in this facility and beyond. The fight has just begun. #ALU

— Amazon Labor (@amazonlabor) May 2, 2022

n”, “url”: “https://twitter.com/amazonlabor/status/1521197310708961286”, “id”: “1521197310708961286”, “hasMedia”: false, “role”: “inline”, “isThirdPartyTracking”: false , “source”: “Twitter”, “elementId”: “001379a1-5890-4655-8761-d0b2b925246a”}}”>

The count is over. The election ended without the union being recognized at the LDJ5 sorting center in Staten Island. The organization will continue in this facility and beyond. The fight has just begun. #ALU

— Amazon Labor (@amazonlabor) May 2, 2022

A separate election held last month gave a nascent group of ALU organizers a surprise victory when workers at another Staten Island facility voted to unionize. It was a first for Amazon in the United States, and a second labor victory was expected to fuel more organizing at the nation’s second largest employer and cement the power and influence of the ALU.

Senator Bernie Sanders and progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rallied on Staten Island ahead of the vote to encourage workers to organize. The vote came as other major U.S. employers, including Starbucks, face a wave of unionization.

But despite the momentum that followed the group’s previous win, it was unclear whether they could replicate their success.

Organizers said they lost some support at the warehouse after filing an election in February because they directed more energy at the nearby facility that voted to unionize last month. There were also fewer organizers working in this facility – around 10, compared to almost 30 employees in the other warehouse.

The same obstacles that hampered the effort the first time around, including Amazon’s aggressive union-busting tactics, were again in play. In the run-up to the election, Amazon continued to hold mandatory meetings to persuade its workers to reject the union effort, published anti-union leaflets and launched a website urging workers to “vote NO”.

“At this time, the ALU is trying to interfere in our relationship with you,” the website read. “They think they can do a better job defending for you than you do for yourself. »

Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said in a statement that its employees had a choice whether or not to join a union. But “as a company, we don’t think unions are the best answer for our employees,” Nantel said. “Our goal remains to work directly with our team to continue to make Amazon a great place to work. »

Regardless of Monday’s result, the road must have been difficult for the ALU. Amazon challenged the first election, arguing in a filing with the NLRB that the vote was tainted by organizers and the council’s Brooklyn regional office that oversaw the election. The company says it wants a new election, but pro-union pundits believe it is an effort to delay contract talks and potentially blunt some of the organizing momentum. A separate NLRB regional office in the South West will hold a hearing later this month into the company’s objections.

Meanwhile, the final result of a separate union election in Bessemer, Alabama, is still up in the air with 416 outstanding disputed ballots pending. Hearings to review those ballots are expected to begin in the coming weeks.

Associated Press contributed to this article

Leave a Comment