back to article After historic win, Amazon workers at another NYC warehouse reject unionization

Amazon workers in New York voted against joining the Amazon Labor Union on Monday, a month after the trade union group won a separate election to create its first-ever unionized warehouse. Employees from LDJ5 warehouse in Staten Island voted against the ALU, with the majority 618 declining union representation versus 380 in …

  1. steviebuk Silver badge

    Madness

    I wonder if they got told "If you join a union, we'll replace you". I understand they once had an issue with the mob controlling the unions but things are different. Having no union means Amazon can exploit you as they wish.

    1. aki009

      Re: Madness

      Probably more along the lines of: "we can set up warehouses in a lot of places. If this place gets too expensive because of unionization, it'll go somewhere else."

      That's also consistent with basic economics.

    2. knarf

      Re: Madness

      They will get replaced with robots

  2. aki009

    Oh the humanity...

    Oh the horrors of mandatory anti-union meetings.

    But why should the company not get to say what it thinks of unions?? And they are paying for the employees time, aren't they?

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Oh the humanity...

      Why should russians get to hear from independent news sources about Ukraine? The Kremlin is paying for their roads and hospitals, and everything else.

      People should be free to make their own choices when it comes to Unions. If the company is turning around and saying "If you join you'll be fired" or " if a union is formed, we'll move elsewhere". Probably hedged in slightly more legal language but with the strong threat implied, then people are not being given a free choice, they're not being given the opportunity to hear what a union might bring to the table.

      Living in Europe, the american hatred of unions is really not understandable. The union in my firm works with the firm to a) make sure its nice and profitable, and b) that people are paid an appropriate wage, and are safe and have good working conditions. There is no need for this to be massively confrontational. I guess in America it reflects American politics where compromise and mutual respect are considered weaknesses and failures. A sad state of affairs...

      1. Wade Burchette

        Re: Oh the humanity...

        The world is not black-and-white. Unions can be both good and bad. Unions can protect a worker's rights, but they can also screw the worker too. These things need to be considered on a case-by-case basis and never a blanket "ALL UNIONS ARE GOOD!" or "ALL UNIONS ARE RUN BY THE MAFIA!"

        Considering the appalling conditions Amazon puts their workers through, I support them unionizing.

        But I also know unions can be bad. This is the true story behind the bakery company that invented Twinkies. The company was in financial ruin, so the company gave the union an ultimatum: take a pay cut or we will go out of business. The union voted against the pay cut. Finally, after negotiations continued to fail, the company went under. All the employees lost their job and the company sold off the rights to Twinkies to pay off their debts. This union screwed the employees.

        But Amazon has enough cash that that will never happen. I'm sure Amazon could double the number of warehouse employees, double their pay, and still make a large profit. Things aren't black-and-white. We need to view each situation as unique.

        1. Norman Nescio Silver badge

          Re: Oh the humanity...

          In the best case, a union is like have a legal team and HR department on your side, not the company's. It is a small step to redressing the imbalance in power between the employer and employee.

          In the worst case, industry-specific unions have union employees and a dysfunctional internal power/management structure that can reflect the worst of companies, and lead to the union member having little, if any representation of their individual case, and little to no choice over union policies.

          Where a union is on the spectrum between best and worst case can vary considerably.

          The worst American union practices are illustrated by believable stories of people not being allowed to change light-bulbs as that's a union electrician's job. It doesn't matter if it is true or not, the belief is enough to give (sensible) unions a bad name. (Much like the 'Spanish practices' of Fleet Street, as was).

          Given Germany manages to have a successful economy, while having good worker conditions and involvement in company administration, I'd say there is room for improvement, both the the USA and the UK.

          1. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

            Re: Oh the humanity...

            I did work at a company (which is no more) where it didn't matter how much the production line needed a part only a goods in person could move the package from goods in to goods in inspection. And yes, in that company only a duly authorised union electrician could change a light bulb, well a ceiling one anyway. I was allowed to change my desk light bulb.

        2. Mark Dempster

          Re: Oh the humanity...

          And if the company had succeeded in getting their employees to take a pay cut then they'd have done so again & again in order to maximise returns for their shareholders - while the employees wouldn't have had enough money to survive on.

      2. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

        Re: Oh the humanity...

        I am confused by your response. You equate Amazon giving information to the Russians withholding it. Strange.

        You then go on to equate Amazon saying "If you join you'll be fired" or " if a union is formed, we'll move elsewhere" to "people are not being given a free choice". Sorry, pointing out the consequences of a choice does not prevent them making a choice it just makes them aware of what might happen.

        Finally, living in the UK the hatred of SOME unions is easy to understand. If you have a union that works with your firm that's brilliant. So many failed to do so.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    America Land Of Fantasy

    The American dream died long ago

    But the people with power still tout it as some thing you could achieve

    But then so is the lottery

    As communism forced people to do as they are told or else

    American version of capitalism is slightly more subtle, “if you do as we ask you then you may not starve to death, but hey it’s your choice”

    The problem is that the failure of capitalism to lift people means that Putin and China seem sort of OK

    We should look to the Scandinavian countries to see how capitalism can be applied.

    Lagom

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: America Land Of Fantasy

      America is a theocracy. They've just got rid of abortion rights too.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: America Land Of Fantasy

      "if you do as we ask you then you may not starve to death, but hey it’s your choice”

      Your fallacy is in thinking there is only one employer in the United States, when there are literally millions of employers. No one with any motivation need worry about starving to death, as there's always another job somewhere else.

      1. hayzoos

        Re: America Land Of Fantasy

        "meet the new boss, same as the old boss"

        -The Who

  4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    WTF?

    "The case has been transferred from the NLRB's Brooklyn, New York office to Phoenix, Arizona."

    Can anyone explain why a legal challenge by NY workers/union against a NY operation is going to take place 1000's of miles away in a different state?

  5. styx-tdo

    I assume Amazon is so sure about the union blackmailing people, because that is exactly what they (would) do, so the others have to do it, too.

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