A U.S. labor board Director has upheld Amazon.com Inc’s landmark union victory at a New York warehouse, according to a Wednesday decision. This brings the online retailer closer to having to negotiate with employees on a contract.
Amazon can appeal to a larger panel of the U.S. National Labor Relations Board or start negotiating directly with workers at JFK8 in New York City borough, Staten Island.
Kelly Nantel (Amazon spokesperson) stated that it was impossible for the NLRB Regional Office to rule against itself.
Nantel stated, “We don’t believe that this election process was fair or legitimate”
This victory was the first U.S.-based unionization by Amazon employees in nearly three decades of company history. It also marked a turning point for organized labor. Organized labor has been critical of productivity tracking and other practices used at America’s largest private employer.
This news is coming at a moment when Amazon was looking to reduce its workforce by more than 18,000 employees due to economic uncertainty. They proposed closing three warehouses within the United Kingdom and opening other ones in the country.
Amazon Labor Union (ALU), celebrated the decision of the labor board director in a Twitter message.
About 55% of the employees who voted in the March election had chosen to join the union. This was due to the increased pay and better job security. About 58% of the approximately 8,000 eligible voters turned out to vote.
Since then, Amazon has slowed down the ALU’s advancements. In New York, workers in various facilities have rejected the union’s membership in the two subsequent elections. Amazon also filed objections during the first contest.
These objections were overruled by the NLRB’s regional director on Wednesday in accordance with recommendations made last year by an NLRB hearing official.