May 21, 2022

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Amazon workers reject unions in New York after workers win at separate facility

Amazon workers reject unions in New York after workers win at separate facility

The National Labor Relations Board said that 62% of workers who cast their valid votes Website site called LDJ5 They voted not to form a union. The association said the number was from 618 to 380 against unions. Monday’s results dealt a blow to regulators who had hoped to capitalize on their success from the April election, as workers at a warehouse called JFK8, Amazon’s largest on Staten Island, voted to establish the first US union within the e-commerce giant.

An Amazon spokeswoman said the company is “glad our team at LDJ5 was able to make their voices heard. We look forward to continuing to work together directly as we strive to make every day better for our employees.”

A lawyer such as the Amazon Workers Union, the nascent group behind efforts to standardize Amazon facilities in New York and elsewhere, said the union is considering whether to file objections to Amazon regarding the vote, and that efforts to organize will continue at LDJ5 and LDJ5 elsewhere. Amazon workers union regulators said they view the LDJ5 election as an important next step in their efforts to unify the company’s other warehouse locations into unions.

If enough facilities join unions, the job researchers said, it could prompt Amazon to change policies around wages, benefits and working conditions. Amazon Voting for the first time on Staten Island He said unions are slowing down their ability to be smart and efficient by making changes that benefit workers.

Labor experts say creating unions in more locations will be a challenge. In April, for example, a union group unrelated to the Amazon workers’ union won the right to hold an election at Amazon’s New Jersey facility before abruptly withdrew its petition.

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Some workers at LDJ5 said they do not support the union because they are satisfied with their pay and benefits. Esther Jackson, 50, an LDJ5 worker, said Amazon’s benefits, which include 401(k) and health care options, were the best she’s ever gotten. Ms Jackson said she was grateful to Amazon, which hired her last year despite her criminal background.

“Amazon is my livelihood now because of my background,” she said.

One employee said the push to form unions may have been a “wake-up call” for Amazon.


picture:

Amir Hamjah for The Wall Street Journal

Other employees said the union may be overpromising what it can do for workers. Kimlee Torres, a 49-year-old employee, said that while union pressure may be an “alarm bell” for Amazon, the job is reasonable relative to the wages and benefits workers receive.

“We don’t need it in this facility,” she said of the union.

Amazon has more than 1,000 warehouse locations in the US so far, and last year the vote took place at three locations — two facilities on Staten Island and another one in Bessemer, Ala. While regulators hope to expand the company’s trade union reach, it remains unclear how far these efforts will spread.

While overall union membership has been declining in the US, Amazon activists have continued to look for expansion opportunities such as in

Starbucks corp.

Organizers gathered unions in various locations across the country.

However, unlike Starbucks, Amazon warehouses can employ thousands of people. Amazon facilities also tend to have a relatively high turnover rate, both of which are factors that affect worker organizing efforts, according to labor experts.

Workers mobilize in other large companies to seek changes in their workplace.

apple company

employee in April They started their own push to the unionSome organizers said they were inspired by success at Amazon and Starbucks as well

Verizon Communications company

and outdoor retail chain Recreational Equipment Inc. and others. These efforts came as Apple and other major corporate powers saw profits soar during the Covid-19 pandemic while US inflation soared to historic levels.

Amazon workers union leaders sought to unite four facilities on Amazon Staten Island while working to branch out to other locations. LDJ5, which employed about 1,600 eligible voters at the time of voting, is much smaller than the facility of JFK8, which had approximately 8,300 eligible voters at the time of its election.

Christian Smalls, the leader of the Amazon Workers Union, during a rally last month outside a company building on Staten Island.


picture:

Kina Betancourt/AFP/Getty Images

The group’s public image has grown following its April win at JFK8, and organizers have welcomed additional interest from politicians, major unions and the media.

Large unions such as the International Federation of Food and Trade Workers, which represents workers in companies such as

Kroger company

And

Tyson Foods company ,

He gave ALU office space and other resources and sought to help the group seal its first contract with Amazon, according to ALU.

Union regulators have sought to increase initial pay, boost benefits, and change the way Amazon tracks performance, rest times and dealing with employees. Workers often have to prepare hundreds of packages per hour and can primarily interact with the company through automated or internet-connected services.

Amazon told workers that it already provides the kinds of wages and benefits unions typically seek in negotiations and sought to highlight the cost of potential union dues. The company pays an average starting wage of $18 an hour nationally.

Staten Island workers who support the Amazon workers union say they are drawn to the group’s status, which is independent of other unions and that it is made up of current and former company employees who have He campaigned continuously for over a yearAnd gain credibility along the way.

“They have your best interests at heart in their hearts with regard to workers against big business,” Derek Huang, a 22-year-old fellow at LDJ5, said of the unions. Mr. Huang wants the union to push for higher wages amid rising inflation.

Amazon LDJ5 warehouse in Staten Island.


picture:

Amir Hamjah for The Wall Street Journal

Amazon has used on-site meetings and banners to persuade workers to vote against unions in New York and elsewhere.

In the Bessemer, Ala, re-election in 2021, the contest was too close to call when vote counting was halted on March 31, even though Amazon led by 118 votes. The election can be decided through a federal hearing that the NLRB has not yet set.

Amazon and the Retail, Wholesale and Stores Consortium, which spearheaded the campaign on behalf of the workers, filed objections accusing the other side of inappropriate actions throughout the election process. The union has asked the NLRB to review whether the election results should be set aside again.

write to Sebastian Herrera at [email protected] and Allison Prang at [email protected]

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