Oct 18, 2022
Amazon Labor Union said Tuesday that it will appeal the results of an unsuccessful vote to unionize workers at the e-commerce giant's warehouse near Albany, New York--an election that labor advocates said was marred by a monthslong union-busting effort by company management.
"We're proud of the brave workers in upstate New York who stood up in the face of a vicious anti-union campaign to challenge a trillion-dollar corporation."
Workers at Amazon's 1-million-square-foot Schodack fulfillment center rejected unionization by a nearly 2 to 1 margin--406 to 206--after an aggressive push by company executives to thwart organizers.
"We had faced a lot of adversity over the last couple of weeks," lead organizer Heather Goodall, who works at the warehouse, said following the defeat, according to the Albany Times Union. "We're going to go ahead and remain strong."
Instead of requesting a new election, Amazon Labor Union (ALU) will ask the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to issue a direct bargaining order.
According toMore Perfect Union (MPU), Amazon "has been waging a brutal union-busting campaign for months--firing union supporters, calling police on organizers, and more."
MPU said Amazon denied employees representation during dubious disciplinary proceedings, threatened workers, called police on organizers on five separate occasions, and subjected workers to anti-union pressure and lies.
\u201cBREAKING: Amazon workers in Albany have voted AGAINST unionizing with @amazonlabor.\n\nThe final vote count is 206 yes to 406 no.\n\nThe company has been waging a brutal union-busting campaign for months \u2014 firing union supporters, calling police on organizers, and more.\u201d— More Perfect Union (@More Perfect Union) 1666107853
"Today, everyone involved with ALU is filled with mixed emotions," he said. "We're proud of the brave workers in upstate New York who stood up in the face of a vicious anti-union campaign to challenge a trillion-dollar corporation."
"We're also feeling both anger and disappointment that the voting process wasn't free and fair," the ALU founder and president added. "It was a sham election in which workers were subjected to intimidation and retaliation on a daily basis and even workers who volunteered to be election observers were faced with threats of termination."
Faced with increased worker organizing--including the establishment of the ALU and the first-ever work stoppage at the company's air freight division in August--Amazon has fired organizers and unsuccessfully petitioned the NLRB to overturn the ALU's victory.
\u201cNEW: Amazon has been specifically targeting union supporters with disabilities and illnesses, firing them en masse.\n\nThe company just fired @amazonlabor co-founder Jordan Flowers, who needs dialysis and will require a kidney transplant.\n\nNow he\u2019s lost his health insurance.\u201d— More Perfect Union (@More Perfect Union) 1666044792
Instead, the NLRB said earlier this year that the company violated federal labor laws by intimidating and threatening Amazon workers who tried to unionize. The board also found in 2021 that the company broke labor laws during a unionization drive at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama.
Tuesday's Schodack vote bucks a national trend of labor organizing across the United States. Defying corporate union-busting, workers at more than 200 U.S. Starbucks locations, as well as employees of companies including Amy's Kitchen, Apple, Chipotle, HelloFresh, and Trader Joe's have moved to unionize, as have Minor League Baseball players.
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.