Amazon workers arrive with paperwork to unionize at the NLRB office in Brooklyn, New York on October 25, 2021.
Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters
A federal labor agency on Wednesday certified the historic victory of an independent union in Amazonfrom the Staten Island warehouse and dismissed a litany of objections filed by the e-tailer.
In April, a majority of some 8,300 workers at Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse, known as JFK8, voted to join the Amazon Labor Union, becoming the company’s first unionized plant in the states. -United. Amazon sought to overturn the election results, alleging that the National Labor Relations Board office that oversaw the election interfered with the labor campaign. Amazon also claimed that the ALU intimidated workers into voting for them.
In a filing Wednesday, Phoenix-based NLRB office director Cornele Overstreet said he agreed with a federal labor official’s earlier ruling that all objections from Amazon should be dismissed.
Under US labor law, employers are required to begin bargaining in good faith with a union after it has won an election and the results have been certified. But the process can be marred by delays, as the employer may seek to avoid signing a first contract and the two parties work out the details of an agreement. According to an analysis by Bloomberg Law, it takes an average of 465 days for collective agreements to be signed between employers and their newly unionized workers.
Amazon can also challenge the decision with the NLRB’s board of directors in Washington. Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said in a statement that the company intends to appeal the results.
“As we have said from the beginning, we do not believe this electoral process was fair, legitimate or representative of the majority of what our team wants,” Nantel said.
Speaking at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit late last year, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said there were “many irregularities” in the union campaign and that the judicial process was “far from over”.
“I think it’s going to work its way through the NLRB,” Jassy said. “The NLRB is probably unlikely to rule against itself, and it has a real chance of ending up in federal court.”
ALU Acting President, Chris Smalls wrote in a tweet that the union “beat Amazon fair and square” and called on Jassy to “come to the table” to sign a contract.
The ALU struggled to replicate its success after workers voted to join the union at JFK8. Workers at a nearby Staten Island facility rejected unionization in May and the ALU lost an election at an Albany warehouse in October.
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