Amazon workers in New York’s second warehouse reject union – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Amazon warehouse workers overwhelmingly rejected a union offer on Monday, dealing a blow to organizers who pulled off the first successful U.S. organizing effort in the retail giant’s history last month.

This time around, warehouse workers voted 618 – or about 62% – against the union, giving Amazon enough support to fend off a second union victory and raising questions about whether the first victory was just that. a stroke of luck.

According to the National Labor Relations Board, which oversees the process, 380 workers — or 38% — voted in favor of the base union. Turnout was around 61%, with around 1,600 workers eligible to vote, according to a voters list provided by Amazon.

The few ballots contested by Amazon or the ALU were not enough to influence the result. Both parties can file objections to the election by next Monday.

A separate election held last month gave a fledgling group of organizers known as the Amazon Labor Union a surprise win when workers at another Staten Island facility voted to unionize. It was a first for Amazon in the United States.

Monday’s loss will surely sting. A second labor victory was expected to further fuel organizing at the country’s second largest employer and cement the power and influence of the ALU.

But despite the momentum that followed the group’s previous win, it was unclear whether they could replicate their success. Organizers said they lost some support at the warehouse after filing an election in February because they directed more energy at the nearby facility that voted to unionize last month. There were also fewer organizers working in this facility – around 10, compared to almost 30 employees in the other warehouse.

The same obstacles that hampered the effort the first time around, including Amazon’s aggressive union-busting tactics, were again in play. In the run-up to the election, Amazon continued to hold mandatory meetings to persuade its workers to reject the union effort, published anti-union leaflets and launched a website urging workers to “vote NO”.

“At this time, the ALU is trying to interfere in our relationship with you,” the website reads. “They think they can do a better job defending for you than you do for yourself.”

Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said in a statement that its employees had a choice whether or not to join a union. But “as a company, we don’t think unions are the best answer for our employees,” Nantel said. “Our goal remains to work directly with our team to continue to make Amazon a great place to work.”

Regardless of Monday’s result, the road must have been difficult for the ALU. Amazon challenged the first election, arguing in a filing with the NLRB that the vote was tainted by organizers and the council’s Brooklyn regional office that oversaw the election. The company says it wants a new election, but pro-union pundits believe it is an effort to delay contract talks and potentially blunt some of the organizing momentum. A separate NLRB regional office in the South West will hold a hearing later this month into the company’s objections.

Meanwhile, the end result of a separate union election in Bessemer, Alabama, is still outstanding with 416 outstanding disputed ballots outstanding. Hearings to review those ballots are expected to begin in the coming weeks.

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