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Amazon union organizers call off election attempt at a California warehouse

Illustration of Amazon’s logo on a black, orange, and tan background.
Currently, there’s no explanation for why the election’s being called off. | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The Amazon Labor Union has withdrawn its petition to hold an election at an Amazon fulfillment center in Moreno Valley, California, according to Kayla Blado, a spokesperson for the National Labor Relations Board. It’s a sharp-turn around for organization efforts at the facility, known as ONT8; the petition was filed on October 12th, and the NLRB had confirmed that there was a sufficient showing of interest to proceed with the election, according to The Los Angeles Times’ Suhauna Hussain.

It’s unclear why the petition was withdrawn or if it has any relation to the ALU’s recent loss in Albany, New York. The withdrawal request isn’t currently publicly available, but petitioners don’t have to tell the NLRB why they’re withdrawing, according to Blado. The union didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment. Had the election proceeded, an estimated 800 full- and part-time employees would’ve been able to vote on whether to organize with the ALU.

Last year, the union won an election to organize Amazon’s JFK8 facility in Staten Island, where it’s currently trying to negotiate a collective bargaining contract with the company. However, it’s struggled to repeat the historic victory, losing an election at the neighboring LDJ5 facility in May and another in Albany earlier this month. ALU’s president, Christian Smalls, called the latter election a “sham,” saying that it “wasn’t free and fair.”

Amazon has been accused of violating several labor laws during elections, with unions filling NLRB complaints saying the company intimidated, threatened, and surveilled workers. The company has also caught flak from regulators, who are looking to ban its practice of holding mandatory anti-union meetings, and who have ordered it to rehire a worker who was unlawfully fired for participating in protests. (The worker was also an organizer with the Amazon Labor Union.) The NRLB said that Amazon illegally interfered with an election in Alabama and ordered a redo, the results of which are currently still up in the air.

This isn’t the first time union organizers have halted an election. Earlier this year, the Communications Workers of America withdrew a request to hold one at an Apple store in Atlanta, claiming that the company had made it impossible to carry out a “free and fair” vote. Earlier this year, another union withdrew its petition to hold a vote at an Amazon facility in New Jersey.



Source: The Verge

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