Amazon is said to have intensified its anti-union efforts ahead of a union election at a warehouse later this month. The Amazon Labor Union told Motherboard the company is mandating daily anti-union meetings at LDJ5, a facility in Staten Island, New York. It’s also said to have distributed anti-union literature and disciplined a leader of the drive for organizing on the warehouse floor. What’s more, ALU says Amazon has hired anti-union consultants to pose as employees.
Workers at the warehouse, which reportedly has around 1,500 employees, are scheduled to begin a union election on April 25th. Amazon’s anti-union efforts ramped up in recent days, according to the report. The ALU recently won an election at a nearby facility, JFK8, which became the first Amazon warehouse in the US to formally unionize. Amazon plans to appeal the union’s victory.
Amazon and the National Labor Relations Board in December reached a deal in December, under which the company agreed to inform past and current warehouse workers in the US of their right to organize. The terms of the agreement afforded workers more leeway to organize in break rooms, which is said to have been a key factor in ALU’s success at JFK8.
However, Amazon reportedly isn’t sticking to those terms at LDJ5. The ALU said the company removed pro-union literature from the break room and took down a pro-union banner after the JFK8 election result became clear. A lawyer representing ALU workers has filed unfair labor practice charges against Amazon for removing the banner and allegedly retaliating against a worker to stifle unionization efforts.
Engadget has contacted Amazon for comment.
Amazon has long been accused of cracking down on workers’ attempts to organize. Last year alone, it spent $4.3 million on anti-union consultants. The company’s also said to be working on a chat app for workers, in which terms like “union” and “pay raise” are on a blocklist.
The NLRB said the company illegally interfered in a union election in Bessemer, Alabama last year and called for a rerun. However, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union claimed Amazon interfered in the second election as well. The result of that vote hinges on a court hearing over challenged ballots.