The loss came on the heels of a landmark vote at a separate Amazon facility in Staten Island which formed the company’s first-ever union in the United States.
by Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Amazon’s union-busting tactics appeared successful on Monday after a tally by the National Labor Relations Board revealed workers failed to unionize a second Amazon warehouse in New York City on Staten Island.
The Amazon Labor Union (ALU), the worker-led organization started by former JFK8 employee Christian Smalls—fired after his organizing efforts—lamented that workers at a second Amazon facility weren’t able to secure victory.
“The organizing will continue at this facility and beyond,” ALU tweeted. “The fight has just begun.”
Attorney Seth Goldstein, who represents ALU, toldVICE they would contest the election and accused the retail giant of violating “laboratory conditions in this election with mandatory anti-union meetings and we’ve already got a whole series of charges against them.”
Labor Notes reported last month that Amazon was “trying every trick in the playbook to throttle worker organizing at its Staten Island warehouses in New York City,” with such efforts including mandatory anti-union meetings.
Ahead of the final tabulation, ALU pointed to a swelling labor movement.
“No matter the outcome of the election,” the group tweeted, “workers are uniting for change at LDJ5, JFK8, and around the world. Mega-corporations continue to spend millions in union-busting + fear tactics and we continue to organize for a society not based on exploitation and greed.”
Maurice Mitchell, national director of Working Families Party, had a similar takeaway.
“Every movement will meet roadblocks,” Mitchell said in a statement, “but today’s outcome doesn’t change the simple fact that working people are taking on the billionaires and big corporations—and they’re winning.”
“This year has seen an incredible resurgence of worker power,” he continued, “as warehouse workers, baristas, and grocery store clerks demand good pay, basic benefits, and respect on the job.”
“Each victory is all the more impressive because workers are fighting within a rigged system that gives corporations the power to union-bust with impunity. That has to change,” he added. Mitchell urged Congress to take up the Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would strengthen worker protections on the job.
But whether or not lawmakers take up that proposal, Mitchell said that “workers will keep fighting, shop by shop and election by election, until they win.”
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