On Thursday, a hearing officer with the National Labor Relations Board said they intend to throw out Amazon’s objections, clearing a path for the union to become the first certified bargaining unit within Amazon’s vast e-commerce empire.
Both sides have until Sept. 16 to file additional exceptions, said the NLRB’s Kayla Blado in an email.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
“After dealing with all of that virtual court, it feels good to finally have celebratory news,” Chris Smalls, leader of the ALU, said in a statement. “We’re hoping that the NLRB certifies it so we can get some rights in the building and protect workers in the building.”
The news is a win for the organized labor movement, which has continued to work toward unionizing Amazon this summer. New organizing campaigns have sprung up in Kentucky, California, and North Carolina, and Amazon workers at a warehouse near Albany, N.Y., are slated to vote on unionization in the coming months.
Amazon has accused the NLRB regional office of being biased against the company, and it’s possible the company could sue over the outcome. Its tactics could delay contract bargaining, a process that itself could take months or years to complete.
Established labor unions like the American Federation of Teachers have pledged to support Amazon Labor Union, which is a nascent, independent organization that has been spread thin in recent months as dozens of workers have charged Amazon with unfair labor practices. The union lost a second election at a smaller warehouse in New York shortly after its win in Staten Island in May.
“This was an outrageous union busting campaign by Amazon and we’re demanding the company come to table to bargain in faith as it’s required to under the law,” said Amazon Labor Union attorney Seth Goldstein in a statement.
Go to Publisher: Technology
Author: Caroline O’Donovan