A hearing officer for a federal labor board has rebuffed Amazon’s try to scrap a historic union win at a warehouse on Staten Island, Recent York, handing victory to organizers in what may very well be a really long battle for recognition.
Thursday’s win is a relief for the Amazon Labor Union, the grassroots group of former and current employees whose unexpected victory in April followed weeks of aggressive campaigning from each side.
“Today is an important day for Labor,” Chris Smalls, a fired Amazon employee who now heads the union, wrote in a tweet celebrating the choice.
Shortly after the vote, Amazon filed greater than two dozen objections with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming it was tainted by organizers and Region 29, the agency’s regional office in Brooklyn that oversaw the election. The case was then transferred to a different regional office, based in Phoenix, Ariz., at Amazon’s request.
Today is an important day for Labor ✊🏽 @amazonlabor has officially won our objections hearing against @amazon the Hearing Officer of Region 28 has officially declared that each one objections are dismissed and advisable certification!!! Once more we proven that our campaign was power! pic.twitter.com/4LrmZcHcvS
— Christian Smalls (@Shut_downAmazon) September 1, 2022
The 24-day long hearing, which Amazon had unsuccessfully sought to shut to the general public, was marked by tense exchanges between attorneys for each side.
On Thursday, Lisa Dunn, the agency officer who handled the corporate’s objections, concluded Amazon’s objections needs to be entirely overruled and the union be certified as a bargaining representative for the warehouse, a spokesperson for the NLRB wrote in an email.
“Employer has not met its burden of building that Region 29, the Petitioner, or any third parties have engaged in objectionable conduct affecting the outcomes of the election,” the spokesperson said, offering a summary of Dunn’s suggestion.
Amazon, the union and the agency’s office in Brooklyn have until Sept. 16 to file any exceptions to the report, which might send the case to the regional director, who will issue an order to certify the election results or order a rerun vote. The corporate could still appeal that order to the five-person labor board, whose Democratic majority is predicted to be sympathetic to the union.
Even when the agency upholds a union victory, experts say firms who don’t desire a unionized workforce often refuse to barter. That move can trigger protracted legal battles in federal court, which some firms could use as a backdoor try to thwart labor victories.
Amazon didn’t immediately respond for a request for comment on what it plans to do next.