The Amazon Labor Union (ALU), on the strength of its first spectacular victory in early April, was unable to immediately renew its exploits: employees at the Amazon Sorting Center in New York voted overwhelmingly against the company’s arrival. Their site.
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According to figures calculated online, 618 workers in a warehouse called LDJ5 voted ‘No’ when asked if they would like to be represented by the ALU, while 380 voted ‘yes’. The participation rate is 61%.
The company conceded defeat, but warned that it would continue its campaign.
“This is a marathon, not a sprint. We all know there are going to be victories and defeats,” ALU President Christian Smalls responded shortly after the count.
In front of the New York office of the agency responsible for overseeing the ballot, the NLRB displayed frustration on the faces of ten union members present, an AFP journalist said. A young woman wept and condemned several threatening stunts made by Amazon as the vote approached.
“I’m very upset,” said Michael Aguilar, an employee at LDJ5. “Many workers openly say they are against the union (…), but there are also many undecided people,” he explained. They were clearly “convinced by Amazon’s campaign” that it “used all the low blows so we could not win on another site”.
ALU made a surprise appearance in early April by becoming the company’s first union in the United States at the JFK8 warehouse in the Staten Island District of New York.
Amazon, the second largest employer in the United States after distribution giant Wal-Mart, has been successful in thwarting the desire of employees to re-group in the country since its creation in 1994.
“Go back to the fight”
In the wake of its first success, ALU has created excitement, with its members claiming to have been approached by warehouse representatives from across the country.
The company hopes to achieve another success at the LDJ5 Sorting Center ఎదు opposite JFK8.
US President Joe Biden himself made a strong plea in favor of the unions in early April, declaring in his speech: “Along with Amazon, we are coming …”
But pressure from the company founded by Jeff Bezos “is stronger than ever”, the company is committing “illegal actions” to counter the union campaign, ALU’s lawyer Eric Milner assured. .
For Christian Smalls, the trade unionists who led the campaign in JFK8 have been working there for many years, but the difference is mainly due to the fact that those who are leading the fight in LDJ5 are “only there for a few months”.
For the rest, he assured, the team would “take a break, re-evaluate the situation, regain strength (…) and return to the fight”.
The ALU, but also the entire trade union movement now needs to find “how to keep pace alive” arising from the first victory, said Patricia Campos-Medina AFP, co-director of the University’s Institute of Labor. Said Cornell.
She said various large associations had already expressed their willingness to provide logistical and legal support to the ALU, and that all of these organizations needed to coordinate to campaign in multiple warehouses at once.
Because in the end, Amazon would “agree to negotiate” if they could achieve many successes, she added.
The group on its part expressed its satisfaction Monday and indicated “impatience to continue working directly (with employees)”.
The company filed an appeal against the outcome of the vote at JFK8, specifically alleging that ALU members “threatened” employees and that the New York branch of the NLRB was biased.
Another NLRB branch official who moved the case to Phoenix agreed to hold a group objection hearing on May 23.
Motivated by the attitude of their company during the epidemic, especially on health care and due to recent inflation, employees of various groups in various companies are now trying to systematize themselves.
Especially in Starbucks, in the wake of the first symbolic victory in December, more than 250 cafe employees submitted a file for the vote organization and over forty people have so far voted to form a union in their establishment.