Business & Lobbying

Amazon granted hearing over claims State Island union vote was suppressed

Paul Sancya/ AP
The Amazon DTW1 fulfillment center is shown in Romulus, Mich. Amazon is heading to space. The online shopping giant received government approval to put more than 3,200 satellites into orbit that would beam down internet service to earth. Amazon said the satellites could provide internet to parts of the world that don’t have it.

Amazon has been granted a hearing over its claims that the successful union vote at a Staten Island facility last month was improperly carried out.

“We’ve always said that 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, and overall turnout was unusually low,” Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said.

Amazon asserted that the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Brooklyn office seemingly supported the union push, and the case was transferred to the Phoenix-based region, according to Reuters.

Cornele Overstreet, who leads the board’s Phoenix office, said in a Friday filing that the evidence “could be grounds for overturning the election” and noted that testimony would be allowed to be presented starting May 23, the news service reported. 

“We’re pleased the NLRB granted the hearing and we look forward to that next step,” Nantel said.

About 55 percent of employees who voted at Amazon’s JFK8 warehouse supported the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), with turnout at 58 percent.

Amazon said it filed its objections on April 22 with evidence that the company believes “will demonstrate that the actions of the Region and the ALU improperly suppressed and influenced the vote.”

Following the union’s success, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) joined organizers at a rally in New York last month. 

“What happened here, right here, what you guys did in Staten Island was just the beginning. It was the first domino to fall,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“But what we need Amazon to do first and foremost is to recognize the union that won their election fair and square,” she added. 

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Amazon Labor Union

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