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Amazon Workers in New York Reject Union in Blow to Organizing Effort

Published: October 18, 2022
Amazon Labor Union (ALU) organizer Christian Smalls speaks at an Amazon facility during a rally in Staten Island, New York on April 24, 2022. (Image: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

(Reuters) — Inc workers rejected by a nearly two to one margin organizing a warehouse in a town near the New York state capital Albany on Tuesday Oct. 18 — handing another defeat to the fledgling labor union that had aimed to build momentum in its cross-country campaign.

At ALB1, the retailer’s fulfillment center in Castleton-on-Hudson 10 miles south of Albany, employees voted 406 to 206 against joining the Amazon Labor Union in the company’s fourth such contest of the year. Turnout was more than 64 percent.

Led by former Amazon employee Christian Smalls, the ALU this spring had delivered a first-ever victory for labor groups seeking to unionize Amazon in the United States, winning a vote in New York City at one of the retailer’s largest warehouses in the country.

An array of challenges since have shown that organizing America’s second-largest private employer after Walmart Inc remains elusive. Unions for years have aimed to stem labor practices pioneered by Amazon that they find deleterious, like extensive tracking of workers’ productivity.

With the new loss, Amazon workers have now rejected forming unions three times this year, at a second New York City facility and another in Alabama. The ALU cannot collectively bargain where it won this spring, either: a U.S. labor board director is reviewing objections to that contest by Amazon before certifying the result.

By Reuters. (Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in Palo Alto, Calif.Editing by Matthew Lewis, Chizu Nomiyama and Grant McCool)