An independent union at Amazon’s Staten Island facility was recently able secure a “win,” but only 58% of eligible workers participated in the election, and less than a third voted in favor of representation. CDW issued a statement noting ABC’s concern; “This is not a model for long-term industrial democracy or stability. The Board needs to work on increasing voter participation and ensure that the decision to enlist a union as an exclusive representative is supported by the majority of employees. We will be looking into how the Board is handling large scale elections, specifically whether it is meeting its obligation to ensure employees have adequate access to the voting process and if the Board’s approach facilitates rather than deters voter participation.”
Additionally, only a week before the election, NLRB General Counsel Abruzzo filed a 10(j) injunction petition with a district court in New York to force Amazon to reinstate a former employee who was caught on video verbally abusing a female colleague with sexually charged and profane obscenities. The firing occurred two years ago, but Abruzzo chose to pursue the case a week before voting began. The timing of this suit is inappropriate and gives the appearance that the General Counsel was trying to influence the election.
The vote in Alabama is too close to call at this point. At the last count, the vote was 875 in favor of unionization to 993 against with 416 ballots being challenged, enough to alter the results. This vote was a redo of an election at the same facility in 2021. That result (2-to-1 against the union) was thrown out by the Board who argued that Amazon illegally interfered with the vote by providing a mailbox. Voter participation in the second election was only 38%, a dismal figure in part resulting from the Board’s decision to hold the election via mail ballots rather than in person and to force a revote in the face of a decisive outcome, which may have soured some employees on the process. Voter participation in the first Alabama election was 52%. The challenged votes will need to be sorted out before we know the final results of this election.