August 15, 2022

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This is how the scenario changes after the creation of his first union in the United States

This is how the scenario changes after the creation of his first union in the United States

“We worked, had fun and made history.” a) yes, via tweet In an epic tone, a few hours ago, labor leader Christian Smalls celebrated the achievement of Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island, New York. With 2,654 votes in favor and 2,131 against, employees of JFK8 Logistics Center, the key to the Big Apple, achieved something hard to imagine just a few years ago: The first Amazon Consortium in the United States.

Besides the victory at the New York factory, the result of the opinion polls is important to mark a milestone in the history of the online commerce giant, which have actively participated To prevent their employees from organizing at the union level. Over the past few months, Bezos has hung posters at the facilities where it is located Request to vote againstset up a campaign website along these lines and questioned the union’s expertise and competence.

The main argument for multinational companies – other companies use it too, Activision Blizzard– Is this union “external” agent Their mediation prevents direct dialogue between the company and its employees. Part of his criticism also focused on the organization that had finally managed to gain the trust of employees: ALU and Amazon Workers Unionpropelled by Smalls after its March 2020 launch.

A story affected by COVID

genesis Aluminium And the small case Help understand the union movement in the Staten Island factory. Smalls, then a supervisor, organized a strike two years ago, during the onset of the pandemic, to force multinational companies to better protect workers against COVID-19. Soon, the company fired him, claiming that he had not respected safety regulations by not enforcing a quarantine. It wasn’t his only case.

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Just a few months later, Tim Bray, one of the company’s vice presidents, Resigned Specifically because of Amazon’s response to critical voices regarding workforce protection during the pandemic or its impact on the environment. In an open letter Highly criticized posted on his personal website, former software developer and manager, censored “Sumaya” company. Rather, the company’s alleged retaliation has motives A lawsuit from the attorney general.

Now, with the ALU winning the election, the National Labor Relations Board will have to confirm the results. Once the process is completed, the big challenge the union will have to face is negotiating the collective agreement, which is precisely one of the arguments Amazon has used to dissuade its employees from supporting the union. The company claimed Smalls Foundation lacks experience in such a process or even in money management.

The move in Staten Island is not the first step for Amazon to organize a labor union. In 2014 it was already registered Konato in store in Delaware A year ago, it was organized Similar vote in a warehouse in Bessemerin Alabama, although in this case polls yielded the opposite result: With 1,798 votes to 738 in favour, the task force decided Exclusion of trade union organization. On that occasion the operation was launched with The largest trade union in the retail trade A low participation level of 55% was recorded.

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Although voting was repeated in Alabama, The result is the same again. For the second year, “No” was imposed in the polling stations, with a weak margin of 993 votes to 875, in favor of the union movement. However, in the contest, there are 416 votes whose veracity is still questionable and will require authorization from the authorities. In 2021 denounce critical employees That abusive terms were applied at the factory, such as removal of cell phones, minimum rest periods or penalties.

Amazon’s is a relevant case both in terms of its weight in the tech sector and for it Strong footprint in the labor market From the United States, but it is not the only one facing a similar process. At the beginning of 2021 it was organized union in alphabetGoogle Matrix, at Activision Blizzard Movements in the same direction Outside the industry, Starbucks has seen how the union movement has also gained strength in the United States as a result of the pandemic.

Late last year, a group of employees was set up in Buffalo, New York The first labor organization Since then, other companies in the country have made a move. An example, perhaps, they now see with concern from the online commerce giant.