The mood in the country is so crappy, that everyone's spirits were buoyed tremendously when over 8,000 Amazon workers at the big Staten Island warehouse won their battle to unionize just over a week ago. Amazon had done everything-- short of murder-- to prevent the labor victory, including spending $4 million against the unionization efforts. Watch this video from The Intercept for the details of the big win-- and how Amazon and its filthy blood-sucking allies fought against it:
Yesterday, Sebastian Herrera, reporting for the Wall Street Journal, wrote that Amazon intends to go to court to try to get the union victory overturned. Of course they are. They want to kill Amazon's first union in the crib.
The company’s intention was made in a legal filing made public Thursday. Roughly 55% of the workers who cast valid votes from a Staten Island facility named JFK8 chose to side with Amazon Labor Union, or ALU, a group established by current and former company employees. The election results were announced last week.
In a filing, Amazon signaled that it would appeal because of actions taken by the union, as well as the National Labor Relations Board, before and during the election.
Amazon said in the filing that union organizers threatened employees into voting in favor of the union. It also blamed the NLRB, claiming it suppressed voter turnout by how it set up the voting periods, causing long wait times. Amazon has also taken issue with recent complaints by the NLRB against Amazon, which the company has suggested had an improper influence on the votes of workers.
“Amazon’s objections are anticipated to be substantial, both in the number of objections and the scope of the conduct to which the Company plans to object,” the company said in the filing.
Amazon last week said it was disappointed by the election results because it believes “having a direct relationship” with employees is best for them. An NLRB spokeswoman, who declined to comment on the filing, said last week that the agency acts independently to uphold labor law.
“None of this is true, and it’s just a tactic for them to delay our certification,” Connor Spence, ALU’s vice president of membership, said Thursday. Spence said the ALU expects the labor board to dismiss Amazon’s allegations. Amazon has until April 22 to file proof for its appeal.
Amazon has taken issue with the NLRB’s handling of a case of a former JFK8 employee named Gerald Bryson, whom the company fired in 2020 after his involvement in a protest related to Covid-19 working conditions. Mr. Bryson has been a member of the ALU.
Amazon has said that Bryson violated company policies related to harassment and language against another employee during the protest, but the NLRB said in a complaint that Amazon wrongfully fired Bryson in retaliation for organizing. The agency asked a federal court to force the company to reinstate Bryson.
After its loss last week, Amazon suggested the agency’s handling of that case could have swayed workers’ votes. Amazon’s primary purpose in the filing that became public Thursday was to ask the NLRB for more time to offer proof for its appeal of the JFK8 vote. The NLRB granted the extension Thursday.
Parties in NLRB elections have the right to contest results. At a company facility in Alabama, Amazon faced a rerun election of a union vote a year ago after the union appealed the first election’s results, in which Amazon won by a wide margin. The rerun election is expected to be decided through a federal hearing in the coming weeks after the contest was too close to call, though Amazon led by 118 votes when counting stopped on March 31.
On Thursday, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which has led the campaign on behalf of workers at the facility in Alabama, said it has filed objections against Amazon for its behavior throughout the election process. The union alleges that Amazon intimidated, retaliated and surveilled supporters and said it is asking the NLRB to review if election results should again be set aside.
Amazon, which filed objections against the RWDSU that similarly accused it of improper coercive actions, said Thursday that it hopes the NLRB “counts every valid vote.”
John Logan, a labor professor at San Francisco State University, said it is difficult to prove that actions throughout an election were significant enough to require another vote. But Amazon could use an appeal to stall negotiations and extend the NLRB process, Logan said.
The ALU’s defeat of Amazon provided an unprecedented victory for labor activists, who have sought to unionize Amazon for years. Amazon workers throughout the country have long complained of the company’s high-paced working conditions, which can lead to injuries and burnout.
Organizers have sought to negotiate over compensation, breaks and job security, among other issues, and played up the inequity between Amazon’s working-class employees and the nearly $2 trillion dollar value of the company.
Amazon has said its performance metrics account for safety. The company has also touted its starting pay, which it says averages $18 across the country, and benefits that include healthcare and 401(k) options and paid tuition.
Labor experts say the union’s achievement could motivate other facilities to unionize. Already, Amazon faces a vote at a second Staten Island facility later this month. Major U.S. unions such as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are also looking at the company.
Chris Smalls, a former JFK8 employee and president of ALU, said this week that his group has heard from employees at more than 50 Amazon warehouses nationwide who are interested in organizing.
Mr. Smalls set out to unionize Amazon about a year ago. The group bet on its status as a worker-led team with many current and former company employees as members, its independence from established unions, a strong social media following and persistence, with organizers camped out near the facility almost every day.
The ALU says it is focused on the second Staten Island election, and that it hopes to branch out to other locations, in much the same way Starbucks Corp. employees have unionized stores around the country in recent months.