Amazon Labor Union Loses Ground in Staten Island Push

Workers of a The Amazon warehouse on Staten Island has voted against the union, marking the first loss for the workers-led Amazon Labor Union (ALU). By the time the count ended on Monday, workers at the LDJ5 classification center had voted 618 to 380 against union representation. The defeat is a big disappointment for the ALU, which had been in a big boost since its first victory last month.

As the company consolidated its leadership in the counting of votes, the ALU he tweeted“No matter the outcome of the election, workers are joining for change in LDJ5, JFK8 and around the world. Megacorporations continue to spend millions on union-breaking tactics + fear and we continue to organize for a society it is not based on exploitation and greed. “

Following the ALU’s impressive victory at the JFK8 compliance center across the street in April, which Amazon is challenging, the company launched its tough anti-union campaign even further, according to workers.

Organizers say all JFK8 anti-union consultants crossed the street to LDJ5, where the workforce is 1,600, or less than one-fifth of JFK8. Amazon used common tactics such as mandatory anti-union or “captive audience” meetings, one-on-one conversations, social media announcements, email, signage, text messaging, and in-app messaging through the A’s internal app. the Z of the company. In parallel with these measures, the union says the company prevented workers from hanging a union banner in the break room, which had allowed JFK8. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

The company also hired at least one anti-union consultant as Amazon staff, says Seth Goldstein, a lawyer representing the ALU. This allowed them to mingle as they roamed the floors, says an LDJ5 worker who prefers to use the pseudonym Maria for fear of reprisals. “It ‘s a bit like The art of war of Sun Tzu, “he says.” One of their methods is to infiltrate, pretend to be part of the group, and then split up and conquer. They’re doing it. ” Labor consultants must submit paperwork to the Department of Labor describing their rates, although they are often presented after the election, too late for voters to know the details of their employers ’agreements with those companies. Last year, Amazon spent $ 4.3 million on anti-union consultants, according to federal documents.

Amazon gave anti-union consultants the freedom of the warehouse during shifts, but repressed workers who promoted the union while working. Goldstein says one worker wrote because supervisors heard her talking about the union during work hours. This relegated the campaign to shifts before and after lunch, and a 15-minute rest period. “We’re tired, but we’re still here. We’re dedicated,” Maria said last week during the election. “We’re basically running with coffee, smoke and morale right now.”

Maria initially had no plans to get involved with the union, but decided to join it after attending captive hearings where she heard leaders spread what she called “wrong answers” and “half-truths.” . “They said that if you go against the union, you will be put on trial. They meant it figuratively, but it sounded literal, “he says. I grew up in a union family, so I know what unions do for employees. ”Once he started wearing his ALU T-shirt around the warehouse, he says he stopped receiving invitations to anti-union meetings.

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