A federal labor official has rejected Amazon’s bid to overturn a union election in Staten Island, New York, that saw the formation of the first-ever union at the company earlier this year.
This AprilWorkers at JFK8 warehouse on Staten Island voted by 523 votes to unionize. The company filed a challenge to the win shortly after — which the company lost on Thursday when NLRB hearing officer Lisa Dunn, who was overseeing Amazon’s challenge, recommended that the objections be “rejected in their entirety,” according to NLRB spokesperson Kayla Blado.
Dunn found that the company didn’t meet the burden to prove any of their allegations and recommended that the board designate Amazon Labor Union (ALU), the bargaining agent for warehouses with over 8,000 employees. The board will issue a formal ruling on Dunn’s decision, and though Amazon plans to appeal the recommendations, the formal decision typically follows a hearing officer’s recommendation.
The union celebrated the decision, and stated that it is ready for more fights from company. “While we are pleased with [Dunn’s] findings, the Amazon workers in the ALU understand that this is just the beginning of a much longer fight,” the union said in a statement. “Amazon’s abuse of the legal process is simply a stalling tactic that is meant to delay our negotiations and cause workers to lose faith in the process.”
In fact, labor officials had. hold over three weeks of hearings in order to consider Amazon’s 25 objections. The corporation claimed that union organizers took illegal actions during the campaign for union membership and that the National Labor Relations Board, (NLRB), had suppressed voter turnout.
Dunn found that Amazon had not established that any of its allegations had affected the outcome of the election or that it was the NLRB’s responsibility to step in on behalf of the company. For instance, the labor board found no merit in Amazon’s allegation that union organizers gave marijuana to workers to buy votes, or that Amazon had trouble communicating its message to workers due to some interruptions to the company’s anti-union meetings.
It was Amazon, in fact. who violated federal labor lawsDuring the campaign, the NLRB discovered in May that the meetings claimed by Amazon were not interrupted. were illegal to begin withThe company had taken a variety of actions against the union, including threatening to sue. To withhold benefitsWorkers, which was also illegally found by the NLRB.
The union’s win this spring was a shock to the labor movement; ALU, an independent union, had faced long odds with a fierce anti-union campaign from the company and with an election on the heels of A failed voteAlabama, Bessemer, where workers voted against joining Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Unions (RWDSU).
The NLRB had Ordered a rerunLast year, the workers at Bessemer claimed that Amazon had illegally interfered in the election. The result of the rerun MarchThe results of more than 400 ballots that were challenged are still being considered.
ALU is currently running a campaign for union membership Albany, New YorkThe warehouse workers of the company filed a union petition last year seeking representation for its approximately 400 employees.