back to article Amazon fails to overturn New York City union election

Amazon's attempt to rerun the election that resulted in workers unionizing at a warehouse in New York City has been shut down by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Back in April, workers at the JFK8 fulfillment center in Staten Island voted to join the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) by 2,654 to 2,131, becoming the first such …

  1. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
    Devil

    Clearly mis-transcribed...

    "...and we don't believe it represents what the majority of our team executives and investors wants."

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Good

    Any slap in the face that Amazon gets is fine by me.

    It is clear to me that Amazon wants to rule the world without opposition.

    It used to be 'the retail world' but with the purchase of a healthcare giant, they want to be in every aspect of our lives.

    What's next? Buying someone like JP Morgan? Wells Fargo? Chase?

    If we don't stop them soon, there will be no escape.

  3. imanidiot Silver badge

    "We're disappointed with the outcome of the election in Staten Island because we believe having a direct relationship with the company is best for our employees."

    Anyone who believes that a mega-corporation like Amazon can have a "direct relationship" with it's employees is dillusional. Even if that's true on the lowest level (floor worker and his boss) as soon as the important decisions are made by spreadsheet by some far removed person in HR in an office 1000 miles away there can be no direct relationship. Employees will get shafted unless they organise. Typically I don't like unions because they seem to often be run by pointless busybodies on a power trip but they certainly have their place. And dealing with corporations like Amazon is exactly the time and place.

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      Talk direct

      Amazon employs a million people, if they all turned up to talk directly to the company, at the agm it would be great fun.

      1. ChoHag Bronze badge

        Re: Talk direct

        That's why you ensure they don't have sufficient funds or free time to make it to the AGM.

        It's Plantation 101.

        1. Robert Grant Silver badge

          Re: Talk direct

          I don't think it's worth trivialising the actual experiences of plantation workers. Their lives were orders of magnitude harder than any of this.

      2. gerdesj Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Talk direct

        The NHS in the UK employs nearly 1.3M (1). That's healthcare for about 67M people.

        This Amazon employing 1M is where exactly - some context needed please. I doubt it is the worldwide figure.

        (1) https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/nhs-workforce-statistics/may-2022

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Talk direct

          It's only for the US, 1.1 million early this year to be more precise:

          https://www.geekwire.com/2022/amazon-tops-1m-u-s-employees/

  4. Outski Silver badge

    Direct relationship with our employees

    So we might eventually give them their own bottles to piss in and back braces to stop them injuring themselves in our <del>workhouses</del> warehouses, all at our generous 1% staff discount

  5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    claimed organizers had intimidated workers to vote

    "claimed organizers had intimidated workers to vote"

    So, the judge threw that claim out, along with all of Amazons other claims. Meanwhile, in other parts of Amazon, we have proof they themselves were doing exactly that.

    On the other hand, "intimidating" someone to vote. What's up with that? Who cares. Surely it's a secret ballot, so no matter how much pressure you put on someone to actually vote (not a bad thing really), you have NO power to ensure they vote the way you want them to. I would Amazons method of intimidation is to get the workers to NOT vote and so make the vote invalid. That's a lot easier to do than to get someone to vote the way you want. The union organisers have the bigger problem, getting the workers to actually vote in the first place where Amazon might later sack them just for voting, even without knowing if the worker voted yay or nay.

  6. VoiceOfTruth

    New motto for Amazon

    We hate our staff and want to pay them as few peanuts as possible.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New motto for Amazon

      Bring back slavery!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: New motto for Amazon

        Amazon wishes to reiterate that we are implacably opposed to racist slavery.

        1. Alumoi Silver badge

          Re: New motto for Amazon

          So same race slavery is ok, huh?

      2. teknopaul Silver badge

        Re: New motto for Amazon

        Commercial prisons, Amazon can extend their labour force easily.

        US still has slavery.

  7. Don Dumb

    The best reason for forming a union...

    ... is that the employer doesn't want it to happen.

    That shows exactly where the power lies without one. I always find it amazing people think that negotiating contracts in the way their employer wants them to is a strong negotiating position for the employee.

    That Amazon is going to such lengths to try and prevent a union forming rather than simply recognising the formalised wishes of more than half of that location's workforce, and the money they are spending fighting it, tells you all you need to know about why those people would be better off with a union. How about they spend that money on raises for the workforce rather than the lawyers? - no, thought not.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: The best reason for forming a union...

      Based on Amazons track record, I'd not be surprised if when they are forced to recognise the union that that warehouse fulfilment centre starts having all sorts of "problems" which will lead to poor service and working conditions, even if it cost Amazon money in lost or delayed orders etc. An of course, being the only one with those particular problems, and being the only unionised site, Amazon will make sure that everyone sees the connection.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The best reason for forming a union...

        Something for the downvoter :-)

    2. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      Re: The best reason for forming a union...

      If US worker unions were more like European worker unions I would be willing to join one, but in the US worker unions are used to grab money from workers whether they want to be in or not. Part of that money is sent to support one specific political party whether the worker supports them or not. Part of the money pays for strippers and hookers the worker never gets to see or touch. The rest goes to make the union's bosses rich. When the worker needs the union, the worker usually gets thrown under the bus unless it's over something that can affect the union's power.

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: The best reason for forming a union...

        Yeah; when the TUC was a power in the land in Great Britain, they were known for their wild parties and cocaine-fueled orgies.

  8. Great Bu

    Unions have gone downhill....

    ....since the mob stopped controlling them. Just think how quick Amazon would be unionized if a couple of goodfellas had dropped by to visit Jeff Bezos.....thanks FBI !

  9. englishr

    I know they're underpaid, but....

    "The research noted that the labor pool grows by 7 percent for every dollar added to the salary"

    Surely that should be "for every dollar added to the hourly rate"?

    1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: I know they're underpaid, but....

      Yes, the words the report used were "minimum wage."

    2. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: I know they're underpaid, but....

      Perhaps "the salary" is Bezos' salary. Same as Jobs, he gets paid only a few dollars a year because, you know, Amazon doesn't make profits so it doesn't pay tax.

      He probably gets paid ~$6 by now and pays 10 cents tax. That's justified because he creates an extra 7% McJobs a jear and he had to pay his ex-wife's legal bills.

  10. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Lord Of The Racism

    Or maybe speciest or nationalist, I dunno.

    2am this morning I watched Rings of Power, the most expensive TV ever. And there was a black elf, a black dwarf, a black harfoot - great! That didn't happen in the Peter Jackson movies.

    But they introduced a new form of racism. All the dwarves had faux Scottish accents. All the harfoots had faux Irish accents - even Lenny Henry! That also didn't happen in the Peter Jackson movies.

    Nothing against dwarves per say, but north of the border some of us are elves, some of us have hairy feet...

    1. ragnar

      Re: Lord Of The Racism

      "That also didn't happen in the Peter Jackson movies."

      Gimli had a fake Scottish accent done by a Welsh actor who normally speaks with an English RP accent.

    2. gerdesj Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Lord Of The Racism

      I can't remember when all that bollocks first trundled into view. It seems to be a modern given that dwarves are Scottish and elves are Irish or Welsh and humans are English or whichever state you care to name.

      Sir Pterry riffed with Pictsie pretty decently but gnomes are not dwarves. He slapped stereotypes willy-nilly on his characters as the story required and without malice. Tolkien didn't make his races match any real world nations either.

      Anyone have any idea when this came about?

      Anyway, I have hairy everything apart from my pate which is a bit of a naus! Perhaps I'm an English troll.

      (per se)

      1. Justicesays

        Re: Lord Of The Racism

        The suggestion I have seen is the influence of Poul Anderson's 1953 novella "Three Hearts and Three Lions" which had a scottish accented dwarf, this influence went on to affect D&D and then other fantasy authors presentation of dwarves.

        Much the same way as the archtypical pirate accent is a West Country one due to a single individuals portrayal of one.

  11. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Next week -

    Amazon announces the closure of the JFK8 fulfillment center due to a slowing economy.

  12. Winkypop Silver badge

    1860: South of the Mason Dixon line

    “I said, boy, I said, having a direct relationship with the owner is best for our slaves”

  13. LybsterRoy Silver badge

    I can agree with many (possibly all) of the comments about Amazon and maybe I'm misreading but the NLRB have ruled that the NLRB didn't do anything wrong. Is that the gist of the article?

  14. Lordrobot

    LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL AND SELL SHORT

    Every economy in the world that allows UNIONS suffers economic peril. In America and the UK and Europe, every major industrial sector from Steel, to Chemicals to textiles has been destroyed by UNIONS. And now in the USA, UINONS have invaded the school systems. MATH AND SCIENCE SCORES HAVE PLUNGED!

    Public Gov Unionis control ALL US ports and ALL European ports. Who is the greedy owner? The Taxpayers! Even UBER Liberals like FDR opposed Gov Unions. But not the bunch of clowns and economic illiterates posting on this subject.

    But it is not just that... Tory and Labour, Democrat and the Murican monstrosity called the Republicans are all haters of free trade and lovers of UNIONS and protectionism. Trump and Biden do phot-ops with UNIONS. When I read Marco Rubio and Elizabeth Warren, of the Indian State of Massachusetts were campaigning together in Alabama to Unionize an Amazon Warehouse; it was incomprehensible. That vote failed fortunately but the shocker is the new ONE PARTY ANTI-CAPITALISM in Murica. The irony of the Rubio Warren activity is that Alabama is a right-to-work state as is Florida by virtue of their Constitutions. Massachusetts is a right-to-work state by statute.

    But when it comes to UNIONS, we have long accepted this royal stupidity in the UK and Eurozone. For God's sake, 78% of Greeks are Unionized Gov Employees. How's their economy BTW? Ask Germany. The Bailout check is in the mail. Every Western economy is sitting on the brink with double digit inflation and mounting debt and low growth. The EU grows at about 1%. UK is gong the opposite direction and the US due to a debt to GDP of nearly 130% guarantees long term growth to be 1 to 1.5% at its best. Western economies are no longer manufacturing economies they are service economies. That would include retail such as Amazon and Walmart that for some mindless reason the Liberals and retrograde Trump bizaros hate both companies. Of course Trumpers have a reason... "The Washington Post" owned by Jeff Bezos has not been NICE NICE to Trump so his feelings got hurt... Oh well in that case...

    The Mantra of a UNION is less work more pay. It is a philosophical bust. The reason you have US Auto makers doing well in states like Tennesee is there are no UNIONS and why GM is always on the Brink in and out of bankruptcy and now thanks to Obamer, the UAW are actual owners of the enterprise. The reason you don't have Chevy dealers in Japan or Europe is NOBODY wants those bloody awful cars. Ford left detroit and now builds all their cars and trucks in Mexico, other than the electric bit being subsidized by the stupid Gov.

    Amazon is efficient and it is global. It is intrinsically anti-inflationary. I would include Walmart in the same breath and globally of course Alibaba.

    Not everyone that posts on the Register is a dope. But every time protectioniism rears it ugly head, the anti-enterpirse crowd floats in like the red tide. Every big fat Gov giveaway like the moronic CHIPS ACT is praised but only in a grunting xenophobic way. You can't possibly know a thing about economics if you think protectionism benefits an economic system. Unions are protectionist. They protect the inept from being fired. They present this strange notion that paying more for labour and getting less, is somehow good for the economy. It is inflationary. It just raises your costs of doing business in the US, UK or EU.

    Trump taxed the Internet in an effort to harm Amazon. His exact bone headed words were to "level the playing field" for the brick and mortar. It didn't work TRUMP, it just made the Brick and Mortar retailers that were trying to get their internet sales going to flatline. The man was an economic illiterate. As if that were not enough, Trunp installed Tariffs which Amerians pay, and raised the prices of postage essentially eliminating any US small business from exporting goods. The guy bankrupted 6 times... 7 if you include the USA.

    This broad adoption by Tories and Republicans of UNIONs and minimum wage, as if it is some kind of health serum, violates all tenants of free trade.. LOOK AT THE RESULTS! You are heading into a massive stagflation.

    Amazon bought at least two automation companies in 2019 and they are automating their warehouses with sorters, arms, and lifter carriers. They are not standing still. Unions always oppose automation. The ports of LA and Long Beach handles 500% less cargo than Shanghai. Shanghai is fully automated. These Gov longshoremen Unions have blocked all automation for the last 30 years. No wonder there is still a 100 ship plieup at LA. Average salary for dock workers is $166,000 USD for Unskilled labour.

    Hate Amazon and hate Walmart but you look like idiots. Look at your Gov run businesses AMTRAK, NHS, USPS... unionized and run like a swiss watch. Walmart BTW is the largest private employer in the United States. Not one of Walmart's 1.4 million employees belongs to a union. NOT ONE!

    Astonishing as it sounds, I may be the only Capitalist left in the Western World.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL AND SELL SHORT

      You forgot the disclaimer

      *This post brought to you by the Corporation against worker welfare and the promotion of unbridled exploitation

  15. OhForF'

    violating labor law by appearing to support the attempts to unionize

    What specifically did the NLRB do to support the attempts, confirm to the workers that they have the right to vote?

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