Amazon challenges the creation of its first union in the United States

The Amazon warehouse in Staten Island (New York), October 25, 2021.

False start for Amazon’s first American syndicate. The Seattle company challenges the vote that took place in a New York warehouse on 1is April, and has until Friday evening, April 8, to submit its objections to the New York warehouse vote, and April 22 to present its evidence.

A total of 8,325 workers at the JFK8 warehouse, located in the Staten Island borough, were on the voters list. Called to vote in person from March 25 to 30 to join the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) or not, 4,852 employees slipped a ballot into the ballot box. The yes won with 2,654 votes against 2,131.

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According to official documents filed Thursday with the federal labor law enforcement agency (NLRB), Amazon requested more time to submit substantiated objections to the ballot. The e-commerce giant notably accuses ALU activists of having “intimidated” employees.

” It’s absurd “

In its appeal, Amazon intends to develop several objections. The company considers that the ALU has “threatened employees to force them to vote yes”that the ALU has “campaigns with employees in line to vote” or has them “intimidated”and also that militants of the ALU “threatened immigrants” advancing the risk that they lose “their benefits if they didn’t vote for the union”.

” It’s absurd “reacted lawyer Eric Milner on behalf of the union. “Employees have spoken and their voices have been heard. Amazon chooses (…) to delay the process to avoid the inevitable: the negotiation of a contract of enterprise”.

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Second largest employer in the United States after Walmart (distribution), the group had since its creation in 1994, succeeded in repelling the desires of employees wishing to regroup in the country.

“Amazon spent millions on anti-union consultants, Amazon held mandatory meetings, Amazon behaved in a threatening manner, Amazon illegally fired employees for attempting to unionize”added Eric Milner.

Close vote in Alabama

The National Retail Union (RWDSU) is making similar rebukes to Amazon in a ballot to unionize another warehouse, in Bessemer, Alabama. The vote is over, but not the count: the no leads with 993 ballots, against 875 yes, but there are still 416 so-called ballots “disputed”who will decide the outcome. A hearing is due to decide in the coming weeks whether these ballots should be opened and taken into account. Then there could be other legal remedies.

In the meantime, the RWDSU has already filed a series of objections with the NLRB on Thursday on the behavior of Amazon, which it accuses of interference. According to the organization, Amazon managers have, for example, banned voting discussions in the warehouse, as well as pro-union flyers in breakout areas, while allowing anti-union literature.

“The employer instilled confusion, coercion and fear of reprisal in the employees”says the RWDSU in its press release.

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In Alabama, the NLRB is to hold a hearing on this union appeal. The vote held in March, by correspondence, was organized after the cancellation of that of a year ago which had rejected the creation of a union. The federal agency had, in fact, estimated that Amazon had broken the rules.

Le Monde and AFP

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