First step to form a union at Amazon «kleinezeitung.at

The workers formed the self-proclaimed Amazon Labor Union (ALU) and submitted over 2,000 signatures to the Brooklyn labor rights agency for a vote.

9.43 a.m., October 26, 2021

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First step to form a union at Amazon in New York © AP

In New York, employees of the online giant Amazon have taken the first formal step towards forming a union: you formed the self-proclaimed Amazon Labor Union (ALU) and submitted over 2,000 signatures for a vote to the labor rights agency in Brooklyn on Monday (local time)said the ALU chairman Christian Smalls. ALU attorney Eric Milner stated that the minimum of 30 percent of the votes had been reached.

ALU collected the votes in an Amazon warehouse in the New York borough of Staten Island. According to lawyer Milner, the NLRB has now scheduled a hearing for November 15th. Amazon already has an obligation to inform the company’s employees about the required vote, he said. A spokeswoman for Amazon said the company doubted that a sufficient number of legitimate signatures had been collected to justify the election of an employee representative.

Next step: voting

The next step in forming a union is to vote in the company, where more than half of the employees would have to vote for it. At an Amazon logistics center in Bessemer in the US state of Alabama, this did not succeed in April.

“This is New York. This is one Union town, and we will prove it, “said Smalls. He was fired from Amazon a few months ago and is suing against this and against the conditions for protection from the corona pandemic at the Staten Island plant.

Management resistance

Smalls had dated a few days ago Reported management resistance to union formation. “We are facing the same strategies that were used in Bessemer, Alabama.” For example, “outside consultants who specialize in fighting unions” would come to the workplace and anti-union posters would be posted. The ALU demands, among other things, higher wages, safer working conditions and more vacation. Amazon argues the company pays above-average wages and grants.

Amazon is criticized in the USA for the working conditions of its 950,000 employees. Trade unions as well as politicians criticize the fact that employees are exposed to high work pressure and permanent control. In Germany, too, there are repeated strikes and demands for a collective agreement with Amazon.

The online giant has benefited massively from the closed shops in the corona pandemic. Amazon employs around 1.3 million people worldwide; In 2020, around 500,000 additional people were hired.


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