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Amazon workers vote to form union

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NEW YORK — Workers at an Amazon warehouse in New York City voted to form the first union at one of the company’s facilities. The vote, which was about 55% in favor, according to a count released April 1 by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), was hailed as a victory by union organizers and a disappointment by Amazon, the nation’s second-largest private employer.

“We’re disappointed with the outcome of the election in Staten Island because we believe having a direct relationship with the company is best for our employees,” the company said in a statement. “We’re evaluating our options, including filing objections based on the inappropriate and undue influence by the NLRB that we and others (including the National Retail Federation [NRF] and U.S. Chamber of Commerce) witnessed in this election.”

NRF senior vice president of government relations David French wrote a letter to Sens. Patty Murray and Richard Burr and Reps. Robert Scott and Virginia Fox urging them to have the Senate Help Committee and the House Education & Labor Committee investigate the NLRB general counsel’s suit against Amazon, “both with respect to policy behind the suit, which is at odds with federal civil rights laws, and the timing of the suit, which gives the appearance of an attempt to influence the outcome of a pending union representation election.” That suit sought the reinstatement of a former Amazon worker at the facility, claiming he was fired for pro-union efforts. The NRF letter says he was fired for “shouting sexually charged and profane obscenities at a female coworker over a bullhorn at their shared workplace.”


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