Wednesday October 05, 2022

Amazon warehouses must be united

Amazon, the largest employer in the United States and a majorstay of Americans’ shopping habits has long resist unionization efforts, such as the 2000 and 2014 union drives. However, in recent years, the calls for unionization has grown louder and more visible. In fact, a new union was able to win elections at one of Amazon’s New York facilities.
The most recent election took place in Bessemer, Alabama, where the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union tried to organize Amazon’s BHM1 plant, which employed approximately 5,800 workers at the time. The workers voted against unionization in 2021. However, the union successfully petitioned National Labor Relations Board for a redo. They claimed that Amazon had interfered by installing a mailbox at their facility. The second election saw a lower turnout but more close results. However, the large number of contested votes left the results open to interpretation.
The Amazon Labor Union, a group of former and current Amazon workers, attempted to organize multiple warehouses on Staten Island, New York. It was able to secure union votes at JFK8 and LDJ5. Workers at JFK8 voted on April 1, 2022 to join the ALU and become the first Amazon warehouse to unionize. A month later, workers at the LDJ5 facility next door voted against unionizing.
Amazon has been accused of union busting and other attempts to interfere in the electoral process (some of these have been bizarre — it allegedly altered traffic patterns in Alabama). Amazon has accused the National Labor Relations Board and the unions of doing the exact same. However, with at least one warehouse being unionized, it seems certain that there will be more attempts to organize. You can follow the latest developments in this StoryStream.

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