Amazon Is Trying to Overturn Historic Union Win

Company argues actions of union organizers tainted results of vote
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 9, 2022 10:01 AM CDT
Amazon Seeks to Overturn Union Win
People arrive for work at the Amazon distribution center in Staten Island.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

Amazon is seeking to overturn the historic union victory at one of its New York City warehouses, arguing in a legal filing Friday that union organizers and the National Labor Relations Board acted in a way that tainted the results. It now wants to redo the election. The e-commerce giant listed 25 objections in the filing obtained by the AP, accusing organizers with the nascent Amazon Labor Union of intimidating workers to vote for the union, a claim an attorney representing the group has called "patently absurd."

"The employees have spoken," Eric Milner, the attorney, said in a statement Thursday after Amazon's initial planned objections were made public in another legal filing. "Amazon is choosing to ignore that, and instead engage in stalling tactics to avoid the inevitable—coming to the bargaining table and negotiating for a contract," he said. Warehouse workers in Staten Island cast 2,654 votes—or about 55%—in favor of a union, giving the fledgling group enough support to pull off a victory last Friday.

In one objection, Amazon said organizers "intentionally created hostile confrontations in front of eligible voters," by interrupting the mandatory meetings the company held to persuade its employees to reject the union drive. In another objection, Amazon targeted organizers’ distribution of cannabis to workers, saying the labor board "cannot condone such a practice as a legitimate method of obtaining support for a labor organization." New York legalized the recreational use of marijuana last year for those over 21 and Milner said distributing cannabis "is no different than distributing free t-shirts and it certainly did not act to interfere with the election." (Words including "union" might be banned from a chat app for workers Amazon is developing.)

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