Labor Council official says Amazon hears it could upend New York union vote

An Amazon Workers Union (ALU) organizer greets workers outside Amazon’s LDJ5 sorting center, as employees begin voting to create a union for a second warehouse in the Staten Island area of ​​New York City, US, April 25, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid. / image file

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May 1 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) An official with the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said objections to a historic union election in a New York City company warehouse warrant a hearing that could overturn the outcome.

The online retailer accused the NLRB’s Brooklyn office of showing up to support the union’s campaign and alleged that labor regulators had terrorized workers into voting for them, which the union allegedly rejected. Read more

Citing the behavior of the Brooklyn office, Amazon last month secured the transfer of the case to the NLRB’s Phoenix-based district. The director of the office, Cornell Overstreet, said the evidence behind Amazon’s allegations “may be grounds for the election to be called off,” according to one of the documents Friday.

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About 55% of the employees who voted from Amazon’s JFK8 warehouse in the Staten Island area chose to join the Amazon Workers’ Union (ALU), which has called for increased wages and job security. The participation rate was 58%. Read more

The election marked the first time US Amazon employees have decided to join unions in the company’s nearly 28-year history, a victory for organized labor that for years sought greater protections for workers at the nation’s second-largest private employer. Read more

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Overstreet did not specify which of Amazon’s 25 objections had the potential to invalidate the election result. He said the parties could provide testimony starting May 23, after which the NLRB hearing officer will recommend whether to support the finding. The process may take weeks.

Eric Milner, an attorney for the ALU, said the hearing cap was “extremely thin” and no official had examined Amazon’s alleged evidence yet.

“While the ALU is disappointed by any delay by Amazon in its negotiating commitments, we remain confident that all of Amazon’s objections will eventually be overturned,” he said.

“We want our employees’ voice to be heard, and in this case, it hasn’t – less than a third of on-site employees voted for the union,” said Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel.

The NLRB said its enforcement actions against Amazon were consistent with its congressional mandate.

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(Jeffrey Dustin reports in Palo Alto, California); Editing by Lisa Schumaker and Stephen Coates

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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