May 16, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Creating a Union in the Amazon Warehouse: Suspense Continues

Creating a Union in the Amazon Warehouse: Suspense Continues

Bad start in Alabama, still possible in New York: Counting of votes against the union began Thursday in two American Amazon warehouses, but the final results are not yet known.

If it wins “yes” on one of the two logistics sites, it will be the first in the United States for the e-commerce giant since the company was founded in 1994.

In Staten Island, a suburb of New York City where JFK8 warehouse workers personally voted, the “yes” vote led to 1,154 “no” votes with 1,518 ballots. An official said the count would be completed by tomorrow.

One vote was “already historic,” said Christian Smalls, president of the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), who devoted several months to collecting at least 30% of signatures from a small group of current and former Amazon employees. Employees in the warehouse will be able to conduct the vote.

Coming out of the building quickly between two rounds of ballot counts, he said he was “not surprised” that “yes” had been in the lead so far.

In Bessemer (Alabama), on the other hand, the National Union of Distribution, which employees want to join, seemed to lead to a second controversial defeat after what happened a year ago, at the end of much media campaigning. Topped the state.

On Thursday evening, “No” 875 was in the lead with 993 ballots against “Yes”, while the so-called “controversial” ballots remained at 416, which will determine the outcome. In the coming weeks, the inquiry must decide whether to open and consider these bulletins. Then there may be other legal solutions.

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Out of a total of 6,153 employees, 2,284 voted in favor.

This second vote was ordered by the United States Labor Rights Agency (NLRB), which found that Amazon had violated the rules in its first attempt at Bessemer last year.

The RWDSU union actually accused the group of “intimidation and interference” and the NLRB ruled that many of the objections were acceptable.

Amazon, one of the largest employers in the United States, a multinational corporation with more than $ 30 billion in 2021, has so far been able to thwart workers’ efforts to unify the country.

In Bessemer, as in Staten Island, employees were called to several mandatory meetings before the ballot to present them with the union’s disadvantages.

Officially, he said the company respects its workers’ rights as a union but prefers to have direct contact with its employees.

She did not immediately respond to a request from AFP.