Amazon loses effort to overturn union victory at Staten Island facility

Chris Smalls and Derrick Palmer at the temporary headquarters of the Amazon Labor Federation in Staten Island, New York, on June 15, 2022.

Katie Schoolov

A historic union victory at Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse should be maintained, a National Labor Relations Board official recommended on Thursday.

In April, more than 2,600 workers at Amazon’s warehouse on Staten Island, known as JFK8, voted joined the Amazon Labor Union, becoming the first group to vote in favor of unionization at one of the US e-commerce giant’s facilities.

Amazon in May sought to overturn the results of the election. It filed with the NLRB alleging the federal agency’s Brooklyn office violated labor laws by appearing to support union motives. Amazon, which includes 25 objections in its filing, also alleges that labor organizers threatened workers to vote in their favor.

Amazon’s objection began 24 days of hearings held via Zoom, where the company’s attorneys, the NLRB’s Area 29 office, and the ALU analyzed election behavior. JFK8 workers and union organizers, including Chris Smalls, co-founder and interim president of ALU, were among more than a dozen witnesses called to testify.

Lisa Dunn, the NLRB attorney presiding over the hearing, concluded in a filing Thursday that Amazon “failed to meet its burden” of forming the agency, union or any other party. other “protested conduct that affected the outcome of the election,” NLRB spokeswoman Kayla Blado said. Dunn also recommends that the ALU be certified as a bargaining agent, Blado said.

Amazon has until September 16 to file objections to Dunn’s proposals, after which the NLRB’s regional director will listen. The regional director will decide whether to order a new union election or certify the results of the April elections, at which point Amazon will be required to begin contract negotiations. with ALUs.

The union said in a statement that it was satisfied with the hearing officer’s recommendations.

“We hope that the Regional Director for Area 28 can expedite our certification and that the NLRB enforce Amazon’s legal obligation to negotiate with ALU workers,” the union said in a statement. announcement. post on twitter.

Representatives from Amazon and the NLRB did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

ALU, a grassroots organization of current and former Amazon employees, sought to expand beyond JFK8. The union in May failed to replicate its successful union campaign at another Staten Island warehouse, but it gained traction elsewhere.

Workers at an Amazon warehouse near Albany Searching represented by the ALU. The NLRB has yet to set a date for that election. A warehouse in the Kentucky Amazon has also expressed interest in organizing under the ALU.

CLOCK: How two friends formed Amazon’s first US union and what’s next

How two friends formed Amazon's first US union and what's next

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