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Amazon to get hearing that could overturn NY union vote, labor board official says

Stock Markets May 01, 2022 08:00PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An Amazon Labour Union (ALU) organizer greets workers outside Amazon’s LDJ5 sortation center, as employees begin voting to unionize a second warehouse in the Staten Island borough of New York City, U.S. April 25, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDer

By Jeffrey Dastin

(Reuters) -Amazon.com Inc's objections to a landmark union election at a company warehouse in New York City justify a hearing that could overturn the result, a U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) official said.

The online retailer has accused the NLRB's Brooklyn office of appearing to support the union drive and alleged that labor organizers intimidated workers to vote in their favor, claims the union has dismissed.

Citing the Brooklyn office's conduct, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) last month secured the case's transfer to the NLRB's Phoenix-based region. That office's director, Cornele Overstreet, said the evidence behind Amazon's claims "could be grounds for overturning the election," according to a filing on Friday.

Some 55% of employees who voted from Amazon's JFK8 warehouse in the borough of Staten Island opted to join the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), which has argued for higher pay and job security. Turnout was about 58%.

The election marked the first time U.S. staff at Amazon had decided to unionize in the company's nearly 28-year history, a victory for organized labor that for years sought more worker protections at the country's second-largest private employer.

Overstreet did not specify which of Amazon's 25 objections had potential to invalidate the election's outcome. He said the parties can present testimony starting May 23, after which an NLRB hearing officer will recommend whether to uphold the result. The process could take weeks.

Eric Milner, an attorney for the ALU, said the bar to get a hearing is "very low" and no official had vetted Amazon's alleged evidence yet.

"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," he said.

Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said, "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."

The NLRB has said its enforcement actions against Amazon have been consistent with its congressional mandate.

Amazon to get hearing that could overturn NY union vote, labor board official says
 

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Comments (4)
Rise Unlimited
Rise Unlimited May 02, 2022 12:40AM ET
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Just pick a few Amazon class action lawsuits and get your check in the mail
johnny kay
johnny kay May 01, 2022 2:22PM ET
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I like the service and people... not the company
Millennial Stacker
Millennial Stacker May 01, 2022 1:43PM ET
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Boycott Amazon. Absolutely horrendous company.
Todd Gray
Todd Gray May 01, 2022 1:04PM ET
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The liberals oligarchs & politicians in New York are hard at work supporting unions, by denying Amazon workers the right to unionize. The only unionization liberals support are right leaning businesses.
 
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