The Associated Press reports that Amazon has filed a legal objection to the union victory ay one of its New York City warehouses, on Staten Island, saying that "union organizers and the National Labor Relations Board acted in a way that tainted the results. It now wants to redo the election.
"The e-commerce giant listed 25 objections … accusing organizers with the nascent Amazon Labor Union of intimidating workers to vote for the union, a claim an attorney representing the group has called 'patently absurd'."
The New York Times adds that "the result of another Amazon election, at a warehouse in Alabama, is also being challenged by both the company and a union seeking to represent workers there, according to filings submitted late Thursday. That union argued that the problems “both separately and cumulatively constitute grounds to set the election aside,” but Amazon stopped short of calling for the result to be tossed. The union trails in the initial tally."
In one objection to the Staten Island vote, the AP writes, "Amazon said organizers 'intentionally created hostile confrontations in front of eligible voters,' by interrupting the mandatory meetings it held to persuade its employees to reject the union drive. In a filing released last week, the company disclosed it spent about $4.2 million last year on labor consultants.
"In another objection, Amazon targeted organizers’ distribution of cannabis to workers, saying the labor board 'cannot condone such a practice as a legitimate method of obtaining support for a labor organization.' New York legalized the recreational use of marijuana last year for those over 21."
The NLRB has consistently denied any improper behavior, saying that it simply is enforcing the National Labor Relations Act.
- KC's View:
So, would Amazon's outrage be properly described as high dudgeon?
I have to be honest here. I'm not really impressed with these objections. First of all, I fail to see what kind of intimidation union organizers could create - until they won the union election, they didn't really have much juice. Amazon has way more ability to intimidate.
And second, the cannabis thing? I suspect that what Amazon really is annoyed about is that it didn't think of this first. The union organizers, best I can tell, didn't do anything illegal. Would Amazon also have thought it objectionable if the union had handed out oatmeal raisin cookies? Apples? Bottled water? Prime memberships?
Give me a break.