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US labor board upholds landmark Amazon union vote



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An employee of Amazon. Credit: Amazon Media Library

Amazon's objections to a landmark unionization vote by workers in one of the retail giant's US warehouses have been thrown out, the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled Wednesday.

The federal agency tossed out the arguments put forth by Amazon against the 2022 vote at its warehouse in Staten Island, New York, and said in a statement that the company "must now begin bargaining in good faith with the union or may request a review" of its decision by the end of January.

The Amazon employees voted overwhelmingly in late March last year to join the Amazon Labor Union, but the company claimed the union had intimidated the workers and that the local NLRB office had facilitated its victory.

"This is a huge moment for the labor movement," ALU vice president Derrick Palmer tweeted, adding: "we will continue fighting for a better contract for all Amazon workers across the world."

An Amazon spokesperson said the company intends to appeal.

"We knew it was unlikely that the NLRB Regional Office would rule against itself," spokesperson Kelly Nantel told AFP.

"As we've said since the beginning, we don't believe this election process was fair, legitimate, or representative of the majority of what our team wants."

The case had been moved to the NLRB's office in Phoenix, Arizona where an official ruled that some objections could be sustained and ordered a hearing.

In an election conducted at another Amazon warehouse in Alabama in the spring of 2021, which resulted in a "no" vote for a union, the agency ordered a new vote on the grounds that the company had violated US rules on labor organizing.

Many ballots were contested in a second vote in February and March this year, and the result has still not yet been certified.(AFP)

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