Status: 04/01/2022 20:56
For the first time, a US location of mail ordering company Amazon has received union representation. Most of the employees at the New York Logistics Center were in favor of setting up an interest group.
After years of blockade by their employer, employees of online mail order company Amazon in the United States will soon be represented by a union for the first time. In a vote at an Amazon warehouse in New York’s Staten Island district, a majority of workers voted in favor of establishing the first union representation in an American company. As of the vote count, 2,654 voted in favor; 2131 employees voted against it.
Before the vote, a victory for the workers’ representatives was not expected, as there was no established union behind the project. One of the main culprits was an ex-Amazon employee, Christian Smalls. After the count, he said it feels great to be on a winning path against a one trillion dollar company.
About 57 percent of the more than 8,300 employees on the electoral rolls cast their votes. The results will be scrutinized by federal labor officials after the objection period ends on April 8.
No Unions at Amazon Warehouse in Alabama
Amazon has been opposed to the formation of unions for years. To date, none of Amazon’s subsidiaries in the US have managed to unionize. In April of last year, the first such attempt at a logistics center in Bessemer, Alabama, failed. A large majority of employees voted against employee representation.
In November, however, the NLRB upheld a consortium appeal that accused Amazon of undue influence and breach of rules. The result of the vote was therefore annulled and a new vote was scheduled.
“we will keep fighting”
According to preliminary results, a vote was taken again in Bessemer against the establishment of a trade union. However, with 993 to 875 votes, the result was much tougher than the previous year. Union boss Stuart Appelbaum said the workers had started a movement. “This is just the beginning and we will keep fighting.” Invalid votes must be appealed against, which can still reverse the result.
Amazon is the second largest private employer in the United States and has been repeatedly criticized for its working conditions. Trade unions and politicians criticize the fact that employees of the group, founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, are exposed to high work pressures and constant surveillance. In Germany, union ver.di has struggled for years to ensure that Amazon employees receive a collective agreement and are paid according to the collective agreement for retail and mail order.
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