Amazon recently lost its first union election in its long battle to avoid unionization at its Staten Island, NY, distribution facility, seen as a major defeat in its long history of remaining union-free.
The company is asserting that unwarranted influence was exerted by the Biden-era National Labor Relations Board during the long union campaign.
Under President Biden, the new board has taken an aggressive stance in openly promoting union interests over employers as its declared agenda.
As a result, the Amazon defeat is seen by some as the first disturbing sign of the board’s “thumb on the scale” approach to union organizing, although the Amazon situation is unique in its own way.
The final result of the vote was 2,654 in favor of joining the union vs. 2,131 opposed, from among the approximately 8,325 workers who were eligible to vote. The distribution center in Staten Island, called JFK8, is said to be Amazon’s largest in New York. Another of the company’s Staten Island facilities faces a union vote at the end of April
“We’re disappointed with the outcome of the election in Staten Island because we believe having a direct relationship with the company is best for our employees,” Amazon said.
“We’re evaluating our options, including filing objections based on the inappropriate and undue influence by the NLRB that we and others (including the National Retail Federation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce) witnessed in this election.”
Another union battle in an Amazon facility in Bessemer, Ala., remains in limbo while the NLRB reviews more than 400 ballots that were challenged by both the company and that union (different from the one in New York). In that vote held on March 30, there were a reported 993 votes cast in opposition to joining the union and 875 in favor.