The Amazon union has lost its second straight election in Amazon’s warehouse, 406-206. It’s a blow to the momentum the new union built with its historic victory in April, and the enormous potential it has built up for organizing inside one of the world’s strongest and wealthiest companies. I am emphasizing it.
Known internally as ALB1, the warehouse is located in Shodak, New York, near the state capital, Albany, and opened in 2020. Heather Goodall, the warehouse’s chief worker organizer, previously told Recode that she organizes in three simple words: quality of life.
“We are falling short of our quality of life goals,” she said. Goodall said workers deserve better wages, safer working conditions and “breaks consistent with the work we do.”
Unlike the other two Amazon facilities where ALU has previously elected, ALB1 is known as the “XL” warehouse. As Amazon explains in its job posting, the staff “handles individual orders from customers who weigh large items, i.e., over 50 pounds: large screen TVs, furniture, appliances, etc.”
Workers at the facility are earning $17 an hour following the $1.30 an hour pay increase announced last month. The minimum hourly wage in upstate New York is $13.20.
“Our team in Albany is delighted to hear their voices,” Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in a statement. both our employees and customers. ”
Before the vote tally, one of ALU’s attorneys, Seth Goldstein, said the union had already filed dozens of unfair labor practice charges against Amazon with the NLRB, including retaliation against union supporters. said he was alleging the crime of Unions will contest the outcome in the event of loss.
Goldstein did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
However, ALU founder Chris Smalls said in a statement that this “is not the end of ALU with ALB1.” He argued that the elections were “not free and fair” and that “workers were routinely subjected to intimidation and retaliation.”
“Above all, we are determined to continue and expand our campaign to treat all Amazon workers fairly,” Smalls said.
Unions have 5 business days to file an objection.
The elections near Albany came six months after the worker-led Amazon Union won on Staten Island. This is the first US union victory at a facility in Amazon history. But the battle isn’t over. Amazon challenged the union’s victory, claiming he had more than 20 problems with the union’s actions, including voter harassment and his NLRB election administration and staffing. His NLRB official, who oversaw the objection hearing, recommended that all Amazon objections be quashed and the Amazon labor union recognized as victorious. That decision is now before the NLRB’s regional director, but Amazon CEO Andy Jassy hinted at last month’s Code Conference that Amazon will continue to fight the NLRB over the issue and refuse to concede defeat.
“I think the NLRB is unlikely to do so, so I think it will take a long time for it to be implemented. [rule] To myself,” said Jussie.
This election will depend on whether or not the organizers can secure a second victory, or a historic first victory on Staten Island, but at least in part, the founders of the Amazon Workers’ Union themselves, all of whom are in the facility. One of his employees at ALB1 told Recode this week that many of his colleagues “do not want to be represented by someone who has no negotiation experience.”
The second ALU election, held in another Staten Island warehouse in May, ended in a heavy defeat.
Rebecca Givan, a professor of labor at Rutgers University, told Recode earlier this month: “That’s true in any workplace, but especially in these Amazon warehouses where turnover is very high and where the company has very deep pockets in terms of how much money it can spend on anti-union campaigns.”
But workers keep trying. Earlier this month, an Amazon worker at a warehouse in Southern California’s critical Inland Empire logistics region filed a petition with her NLRB demanding an election to unionize with the ALU. At another Southern California facility, one of Amazon’s three U.S. air freight hubs, about 100 Amazon workers reportedly demanded a $5 an hour increase this month, saying they reportedly quit his job to protest what it was the company’s retaliation against the workers’ organizers. .
According to an internal memo previously seen by Recode, Amazon has historically fought union organizing vigorously, spending millions to hire outside consultants to hold forced anti-union meetings with workers. and has strategized in detail on how to neutralize powerful unions like Teamster. With his two losing streaks at organizing attempts, Amazon’s tactics may be working.