After the formation of a first union in Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse last April, the social movement is intensifying at the e-commerce giant. The American company seeks by all means to curb the formation of new unions, to the point of having dismissed leaders of the movement in a second warehouse in May 2022. After a short period of calm, the Amazon Labor Union (ALU ), the first union of Amazon workers, announced on August 16 that it wanted to organize a union election in the ALB1 warehouse, located in Schodack in the State of New York.
NLRB must allow election to be held
Before an election is held, the ALU must first obtain clearance from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the US federal agency responsible for conducting union elections and investigating labor practices. work. To do this, a union group attached to the ALU distributed a petition addressed to the 400 Amazon employees of the Schodack warehouse. At least 30% of employees voted in favor of holding an election, the number of signatures needed for the NLRB to authorize a vote. If approved, the election will take place during the year.
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“ Employees recognize that they have rights and are able to use those rights to form a union and send a strong message that they should no longer be controlled explained Heather Goodall, warehouse worker ALB1, to the wall street journal. This worker is one of the people behind the movement at Schodack. She explains that the employees chose to join the efforts of the ALU because the union is campaigning for higher wages and improved safety measures.
It’s official! Amazon workers at ALB1 in Schodach, New York have filed for a union election, seeking to be represented by the ALU!!
— Amazon Labor Union (@amazonlabor) August 17, 2022
Amazon is openly opposed to labor movements
According to official data from the United States Department of Labor, Amazon has a higher injury rate than the national average. The firm defended itself by explaining that these figures correspond to a more rigorous reporting of injuries, unlike other companies in the same sector. An Amazon spokesperson said the company does not believe unionization is necessary and prefers to work directly with its teams.
Even if holding an election is approved by the NLRB, there’s a good chance that Amazon will try to defeat the vote. In June, the company was accused by the NLRB of using illegal practices to dissuade employees from voting for a union at a Staten Island warehouse. Amazon hasn’t shied away from organizing anti-union meetings, which the NLRB considers to be a violation of the Labor Code. Finally, the majority of the employees voted against the union, signing a failure for the ALU.
Despite the efforts of some companies against unions, the United States is currently experiencing a major wave of social movements that inspires more and more workers. Recently, employees of Starbucks, Apple or Activision have managed to form their own unions.