By: Tom Hebert
In a blistering defeat for union bosses and organizers, Amazon workers overwhelmingly voted against unionizing a New York City warehouse according to media reports.
Out of approximately 1,600 workers eligible to vote, 61 percent voted against the union and 38 percent voted in favor of the union. The final tally was 618-380 according to the National Labor Relations Board, which oversaw the election.
Several weeks ago, the nascent Amazon Labor Union (ALU) prevailed in a representation election at Amazon’s JFK8 facility in Staten Island, New York. Since then, the liberal media has portrayed the one-off victory as proof of momentum for the ALU and forecasted that more and more Amazon facilities would vote to unionize.
Today’s crippling defeat for the ALU shows that the media’s wishcasting was not based in reality and raises critical questions as to whether the JFK8 union vote was just a fluke.
There are certainly ample reasons to question the legitimacy of the ALU’s Staten Island victory. The NLRB – supposedly the impartial referee of representation elections – put its thumb on the scale just one week before the JFK8 vote commenced.
On March 17th, the NLRB filed a petition in federal court to force Amazon to rehire an employee that was terminated 23 months previously. While the NLRB claimed the firing was an illegal attempt by Amazon to thwart the unionization effort, the real situation is much more complicated.
According to video evidence, the terminated employee hurled sexually charged and profane obscenities over a bullhorn at a female colleague in their shared workplace and livestreamed the attack on Facebook. The terminated employee called his coworker a “gutter bitch,” “ignorant and stupid,” “crack-head ass” among other obscenities and accused her of being “high” on “fentanyl.”
The NLRB’s intervention amounts to a tacit endorsement of these obscene tactics – apparently, this abhorrent behavior is acceptable if you support efforts to unionize. By filing the petition 23 months after the employee was fired, it is clear that the NLRB was attempting to paint Amazon in a negative light just days before the election. Given how slim the margin of victory was, the NLRB’s petition could have moved the needle just enough to deliver a win for the union.
UItimately, today’s lopsided defeat shows that warehouse workers just aren’t buying what the ALU is selling.