With workers and labor organizations fighting for unionization throughout various major tech companies in full force, Amazon is one of the companies that has found itself frequently playing defense. Such is the case again this week in the wake of a union vote at a Staten Island Amazon warehouse. Amazon sought to overturn the vote that would make the Staten Island facility the first unionized Amazon facility in the U.S., but the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has upheld the vote. Amazon has signaled intent appeal.
The recent events and upheld vote regarding the Staten Island Amazon warehouse were recently reported via CNBC. According to reports, Amazon alleged that the NLRB office overseeing the election directly interfered in the union drive. Furthermore, Amazon claimed that the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) intimidated workers to vote for unionization. In a filing on January 11, 2023, Cornele Overstreet of NLRB’s Phoenix offices stated agreement with a previous federal labor ruling that Amazon’s allegations should be dismissed.
While this could be considered a win for the Staten Island union and Amazon Labor Union, it’s not quite over. Amazon still has the option to appeal and will likely do so, taking the matter to Washington according to Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel.
“As we’ve said since the beginning, we don’t believe this election process was fair, legitimate, or representative of the majority of what our team wants,” Nantel said.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy also spoke on the matter, claiming that despite Amazon’s objections to the NLRB, the company will likely have to push the case to a higher federal level to properly contend with the ruling.
“I think that it’s going to work its way through the NLRB,” Jassy said. “It’s probably unlikely the NLRB is going to rule against itself, and that has a real chance to end up in federal court.”
As facilities have tried to organize within Amazon, the company itself has come up against allegations of anti-union tactics several times, including hirings with specific union-busting language in job descriptions and Jassy himself being accused of violating labor laws with allegedly anti-union comments. And so it seems that the Staten Island union and Amazon Labor Union still have legal battles ahead of them if they want to solidify the recent organization. Stay tuned as we continue to follow for further updates and details.