Amazon’s efforts to quash the Amazon Labor Union at its Staten Island warehouse appear to be gaining steam.
After the union won a historic election last month, Amazon outlined 25 objections to the results. The company requested a do-over. Today, Reuters reported that the National Labor Relations Board is set to hold a hearing that could overturn the win.
The victory, a first for a union at an Amazon facility in the United States, was monumental. As my colleague Noah Lanard wrote, it upended “basic assumptions about what’s usually needed to win a union election.” But, as he also reported, the aftermath of a first contract negotiation and the bureaucracy of legal challenges will be daunting. Amazon’s pushback will continue.
Among other complaints, Amazon argued that the NLRB’s Brooklyn office intimidated workers to vote for the union. Reuters notes that this is why the case has been transferred to the Phoenix region, away from the Brooklyn office. The Phoenix office’s director, Cornele Overstreet, said in a filing that Amazon’s evidence “could be ground for overturning the election.”
The two parties can begin presenting evidence on May 23.
“We want our employees to have their voices heard, and in this case, that didn’t happen—fewer than a third of the employees at the site voted for the union,” an Amazon spokesperson told Reuters. The union won with 55 percent of the vote; turnout was 58 percent.
“While the ALU is disappointed in any delay by Amazon in its bargaining obligations we remain confident that all of Amazon’s objections will ultimately be overruled,” ALU attorney Eric Milner said.
Meanwhile, workers at another Staten Island warehouse are awaiting the results of their union vote.