U.S. labor board official orders Amazon to redo union vote at Alabama warehouse

  1. Oh and literally changing the timing of the traffic lights so it was harder to hand out flyers/literature to employees.

  2. I’d like to say Mr. Burn’s power plant had a Union. I think he tried to trade their dental plan for a keg of beer but they had a Union.

  3. If you hear any dangerous rhetoric or phrases, including "living wage" notify management immediately

  4. how would amazon know what is in the envelope they're putting in the mailbox lol but yes eat the rich blah blah blah

  5. "Look guys you are welcome to cross that line, we are good to you, you don't want to do this, unions might actually make your pay even lower....trust us...we care deeply about all of you, and of course, hurry up and get back to work!!!" -Amazon shipping centers

  6. You know the worst bit is, its probably some middle management frantically doing this stuff, so they can get pat on the back, a few thousand extra on the bonus and maybe go up another rung on the ladder.

  7. Unfortunately if the union vote gets to a redo they often fail +90% of the time. That is part of the union busting strategy

  8. Always remember that the rich have already unionized at your expense. They call it different things, but they’ve hedged protections around themselves that we cannot access.

  9. “Chamber of Commerce” is the best one. Sounds like a governmental agency but is really just a lobbying group for business. They sure as hell make sure they can collectively bargain, or collude and price fix, while denying you the same right.

  10. ”Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of community exists within that relation. A few men own capital, and that few avoid labor themselves, and with their capital hire or buy another few to labor for them.”

  11. It’s so fun how folks will bitch about unions, but go watch a movie made with unionized actors and production teams, or bitch about unions and then watch those unionized football, basketball, and baseball games.

  12. A union is a corporation that sells labor. The rich’s “Unions” are Amazon, Apple, Walmart, et. al. As long as they’ve got such an outsized portion of the buying power and we individually can’t effect it, they’re going to keep winning. Unions give us power in that negotiation.

  13. I used to think unions weren’t that great, but after seeing the ruthlessness of big corporations . They are absolutely necessary, if not for unions my dad would’ve wrongly been out of a job

  14. And the footsoldiers of the oligarchy have super strong unions . Don't forget about the awesome protection the police unions give their members

  15. Union workers generally recieve a 30% pay raise when unionizing and in almost every circumstance earn more, recieve more benefits, more vacation and better employment satisfaction.

  16. Bezos thanked his workers for helping to pay for his rocket ship. That's all you need to know to understand they should unionize IMO.

  17. Tell this to the Boeing plant workers in Charleston. Those idiots have consistently voted no to unionize. If they'd only join their west coast counterparts, they'd all have so much more bargaining power.

  18. True but, and this is just my personal experience, it's much harder on people joining the company. Unions essentially embrace "seniority" over all, so as a new hire you will get last pick of hours, vacation time, shifts, promotions, raises, everything. The worst part is since the senior employees are basically invincible they can get by while doing 10% of the work, and someone has to pick up the slsck at least that was my experience working at the airport... I won't say for who. The senior employees were always so smug, and I always felt like I got the shaft, what happened to the best employees getting the promotions? I ended up leaving after a year and that's probably the brunt of their business model, treat the seniors good and keep the new hires rotating out. I guess that's why they don't care, because we're so likely to leave after being treated like that lmao. I know reddit doesn't want to hear this but there are also downsides to unions, and in my experience it is much worse to work for one especially as a young person

  19. I don't understand why people choose pay as the thing to criticize Amazon over, though. Amazon pays well. The $15 minimum wage was a year ago and at least on the driver side, they're paying $18.50/hr for standard drivers and $20.25/hr for the larger DOT vehicles. Overtime, 2 weeks paid vacation, health insurance.

  20. One important thing to consider about unions is that while they increase worker benefits, they still have just as much incentive to see the business succeed as management.

  21. No. They want to have the flexibility. Unions make any hiring/firing/relocation decision much more difficult. Amazon consistently pays better than all the other employers in the same area.

  22. I can assure, Amazon will be charging YOU more to make up the difference. I’m sure most people on this sub will, in the abstract, say “that’s ok” then they’ll spend hours online trying to find a lower priced item.

  23. See here’s the thing about high turnover employers, they still have a base of employees who stick around for a long time. It’s mostly the new employees, say less than a year in, who quit. I worked for an employer with incredibly high turnover and anybody that lasted over a year had a tendency to stay there a long time. So there were like 20-25% of employees who were always there and they were the most active in union talks and the like. My guess is they were the ones actually participating in the voting and the new employees had a much lower turnout for the vote.

  24. I’ve seen shitty/dangerous operators keep jobs at dangerous chemical plants for very long because they were in a union. It goes both ways.

  25. Good but just know this is Alabama and despite I more than fully support and encourage them to unionize, it wasnt even close the last time and yeah amazon did things to discourage the vote, hence we redoing it but i doubt it will change things.

  26. If I remember correctly from John Oliver Unions lose 96% of the time when a election is ordered to be redone.

  27. The discussion about unions always skips over the public vs private sector part too easily. There are times when unions are better for the employees at large, and there are times when it's worse. People see teachers and police unions and have a distrust of them because of it.

  28. Want to know something hilarious? My Macroeconomics school text book talks about Unions in the Unemployment chapter. According to the text: Unions cause Unemployment across the board because a Union messes with "Equilibrium Price Point" a company is "able" to pay. Because a Union forces a company to pay a higher wage the company can not hire as many people to work, this leads to higher unemployment.

  29. Order direct. Other than Amazon's original items, they're nothing but a reseller taking a cut. Find it on amazon, buy elsewhere.

  30. Costco is really good with their employees. Their stuff is really high quality, and their online business is growing.

  31. To be honest, just order directly from the manufacturer. I quit prime a while ago and it does make things a little more difficult but not a ton.

  32. Costco (online) is probably the most ethical alternative to most of the stuff on Amazon. You can also order from places directly.

  33. I started switching to eBay if I can't order direct. It was easier and cheaper for the odd computer or electronic components I needed. I did have 1 item that I bought from eBay get delivered to me in Amazon packaging. They sent it as a gift from Amazon and gave me a fake tracking number. I quickly gave that seller a negative review or being misleading and lying (fake tracking number).

  34. Doing without. All these MF do is feed off of our consumerism. Bar that, shop local or DIY if applicable.

  35. Honestly just eBay. It’s kinda the same but more direct. But I spend a lot of time searching for products I want. For household stuff I’d say target. They’re not much better but o worked there and it was just boring.

  36. Amazon has products that I would otherwise have never heard of, so I use it as a search engine 😆. Find some cool shit you're looking for, then just find that product on the company's actual website

  37. I use Google shopping (I'm in Spain) and shop directly from other vendors locally. I can use all of Google filtering to compare prices, and specs for whatever I want to buy. I haven't found the need to use Amazon again

  38. Many companies use Amazon Web Services, so unless you get off the internet, it's impossible to not line their pockets.

  39. Amazon barely sells name brand products anymore, and even then you're rolling the dice on their compromised supply chain. So unless you're hooked on the shouty-brand Chinese flea market items, literally anywhere else will do.

  40. Years ago there was a reason for using amazon. They had great customer service, a decent selection with accurate reviews from users, and their recommendations were downright eerie with how accurate they could predict consumer desires. All of that is out the window now. My recommendations are all things I've already purchased, every search result is loaded down with chinese counterfeit products complete with fake reviews, and the customer service is at best apathetic and at worst entirely absent now. Its like amazon is encouraging everyone to ditch their service.

  41. Ordering direct is probably the right answer. It probably helps the end merchant as well. For major tech purchases I started looking through gamestop. The customer service is significantly better and they never try to demand me return items that were sent by mistake (an FTC violation with $16,000 fine per violation).

  42. Too bad you qualified that with 'ethical alternative'. If you're willing to go with unethical alternatives, for general goods, Wal-Mart has a very large internet store, and they'll generally deliver free to your local Wal-Mart for pick-up. Most big-box chain retailers, such as Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe's, etc, have internet stores. The chain retailers that do not, are either dead or dying, because you have to do business on the internet to be competitive these days unless you are extremely local and your customers all live 5 minutes drive away. Even then, the ability to take orders over internet is helpful.

  43. I just cancelled my prime membership a few days ago for this reason. I'll pay into his pot when he starts paying into mine.

  44. Just delete your account and you will find a way to get all the same stuff. As others said; just buy direct. Many companies have free shipping deals over a certain dollar amount spend to compete with Amazon specifically.

  45. Yep. It’s called going to the store. We won’t get the massive options, and in cases, not the best best deals, but there’s a message to be sent.

  46. Many people comment about going to the store. While this may seem good. I'm sure many stores in the mom and pop verity actually get thier some of thier stock from Amazon.

  47. They've tricked you into thinking they're the only place to get stuff. Just stop using them; unless you're in the absolute middle of nowhere you should have enough other retailers around you to provide what you need.

  48. Companies wouldn't fight so hard against unions if they really thought they didn't work. All the more reason to unionize! Bring it up at work today, regardless of where you work. Maybe don't outright say "wanna unionize right now?" At first. But start by talking about it more. Show sympathy for the cause. Talk about how it's funny how these companies fight so hard to insist that unions don't work. If they don't work, why do they fight so hard to keep them from happening? Etc. Etc.

  49. John Oliver did a bit on union busting not long ago and mentioned that companies fighting union efforts win 96% of second union elections.

  50. It amazes me how utterly and grotesquely greedy these companies are. They could let their entire workforce unionize, costing them a bit more in pay and benefits, yet still reap billions in profits. But what they will gain is a much happier team, less turnover, more dedication and ultimately greater profits. Yet their insatiable desire for more more more won't let them budge even one inch. It sickens me.

  51. Capitalism has a hunger that can never be satiated. Billions aren't enough. But our culture is built to fetishize it. Capitalism fetishization is the American dream, for all intents and purposes.

  52. Financial growth is a form of recreation for these people. The same way you and I talk about a new Netflix series or last nights game, the rich talk about this scheme or that opportunity.

  53. Hey dude. Would you rather have a union with a good wage, benefits, and a generally better work environment? Or, or. Hear me out. A new game console with all the latest hits! And, uh…. What’s that thing poor people like…. DRUGS! YEAH! With the money that would go to the Union you could just buy a game console and drugs! Ez.

  54. I think this is a bit of an Ayn Rand fantasy. She thought that the company that paid the most to employees would get the best workers and then have the best products/services and then make the most profit. Amazon and Walmart have proven this isn't true. Pay your employees as little as you can, under cut your competitors that do pay well and who cares if there is high turnover.

  55. Hey guess what? Even tho the workers get to re-vote, amazon has already won this battle. Over 90% of revotes vote down unionization because the emoloyer spent all this time spreading propaganda making workers fear for their current jobs.

  56. Still about 10% that don't then? Yeah it's optimistic but it's more likely to happen than if they just didn't have a 2nd chance at all. This gives another opportunity to organize and bring these suppression efforts up with employees who are on the fence.

  57. This will just push Amazon to automate faster and then let everyone go via redundancy. My city had its metro system unionised and two years later the full line was automated. It was cheaper to automate than pay a few percent higher salaries.

  58. Automation would have killed those jobs whether they were unionized or not. I probably don't need to point out the gigantic amount of non-unionized labor that's still been automated away.

  59. Every worker there should know that if a Union forms they can decline joining it themselves via their own state laws.

  60. Which is total bullshit, because they get many of the benefits of the union, while contributing nothing. That law is meant to weaken the unions.

  61. SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 29 (Reuters) - A regional director for the U.S. National Labor Relations Board on Monday called for a rerun of a union election at an Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) facility in Alabama, setting the stage for another high-profile organizing battle at the world's largest online retailer.

  62. I really do hope the interest in union affairs is due in part by The Last Week Tonight crew’s piece on union busting.

  63. What I’m failing to see is why it’s all or nothing in regard to a union at the workplace. Unions are a right. So those 1/3 of workers voting fora union at Amazon should be allowed regardless of what the other workers or Amazon say.

  64. Because if its not all their workers the union would be meaningless. It would have no bargaining power. Those workers would be slowly dismissed of run out for some reason or other.

  65. It’s Alabama so it’ll probably fail under any conditions. They’ve been brainwashed into voting against their own self interest for decades.

  66. It's in their union busting literature that the worst that happens is the state forces the vote to happen again and that vote always fails. So they get to bend the rules as much as they want knowing everything is in their favor in the end.

  67. Union worker here. When I joined the union, my starting pay was $500 a week more than my non-union pay. I got fully employer paid health insurance, paid vacation, pension, and night premiums. I got none of those as a non-union employee doing the same job and I'm guaranteed a cost of living raise every year.

  68. It's amazing to me how companies like Amazon will spend tens even hundreds of millions of dollars to stop unionization instead of just paying your workers a livable wage with benefits.

  69. It comes down to being able to work employees until they’re burnt out, let them go and then replace the burnt out people with new people, and they don’t have to pay more or care about the person they let go. With a Union, it’d be nearly impossible to keep the system they have now. To be clear, I hope the Bama workers unionize because Amazon are huge turds when it comes to employment.

  70. The most insulting part is that employees are fighting so hard to have to pay for representation in order to be treated fairly.

  71. My wife had a travel nurse friend go back to her non-unioned ICU pre COVID to try and create change. I'm from the south and she worked their and we both know that those dingdongs are hopeless. She tried and failed because, "UNiOnS kEeP bAd WorKErs and yOu LoOSe mONeY aFTeR UnIOn DUeS"

  72. Well, there's some good news! I live out in cow country, and I'm literally planning to drive 2 hrs to the nearest shopping center with a Target for my holiday shopping so I can avoid ordering from Amazon.

  73. You realize target isn’t unionized either? So you not only are driving two hours in a car unnecessarily, you are supporting another non unionized company. Smart, smart.

  74. Sounds like Amazon may have some interference charges on their hands if they don't comply.

  75. Alabama has had decades and decades of anti-union propaganda so this will fail again. Doing this in Alabama is almost guaranteed to fail, so why are they even trying here? Is it meant to create more division attacks? Seems almost active measure level.

  76. If you say "why bother" then you've already lost. It's a great way to suppress future union efforts if people don't even attempt it to begin with.

  77. Just because an Amazon warehouse unionizes in another city/state doesn't mean the Alabama warehouse gets lumped in. They have to hold their own vote.

  78. It’s the Deep South. Union by its very name are despised. This will fail again. Union is almost as insulting as Yankee in Alabama.

  79. So it looks like the new line from Amazon employee-shareholder-shills is "go arounds always fall". Please downvote the shills.

  80. so true. it's annoying. instead of being happy that they even got a 2nd go at a vote, they're just repeating the john Oliver line "mOsT 2nd Gos FAIL, WHY CARE" and if they fail, so what? only 43% of the employees even voted. it's only fair that they get a vote on principle alone.

  81. Union organizers should be trying for a world wide movement. Amazon would come to the table, with a serious offer for the grunts in under a day.

  82. Amazon doesnt care because it knows 97% of revotes fail. As long as you get them the first time, the damage is done.

  83. Thought there was something really odd going on when the vote came back no when most employees seems to want a union

  84. This is a nice gesture but union busting has been codified into almost all workplaces and without actual serious overhaul there probably won't be much action.

  85. i got $20 if it passes they'll lay off everyone and a month later bring in a 3rd party contractor to run the employees.

  86. I got no doubt Amazon did some shady shit but didn't 71% vote against forming the union? They really think putting up a mailbox swung the vote that way?

  87. It was 43% turnout; only 30% of eligible voters were opposed. The NLRB decision here says the tactics could have intimidated enough workers into not voting or voting against unionizing out of fear of retaliation. If it were just a mailbox, I might disagree. But when you have it surveilled, erected without any USPS identifying markings, then put a propaganda banner and tent over the mailbox, you’re kind of putting your thumb on the scale. That’s what this decision says

  88. It's insane to me that these workers would not want a Union. Why does Amazon pour millions into union busting? You may disagree with individual union decisions, but unions have done nothing but give workers power in the long run. This is the time when workers have the leverage.

  89. In the “long run” is the issue there. You should read up on what guarantees the people pushing for this particular union were saying they could get. It wasn’t exactly a great sales pitch.

  90. Why do I feel like this might end up at the Supreme court which rules that the saying the word "union" out aloud gives corporations the right to sue?

  91. I’d bet the Union loses the next one too. Some of this interference makes no sense. The mailbox surveillance, for example, would theoretically show who voted, but not how they voted, so how would that theoretically sway an employee’s vote?

  92. It's more psychological than logical. If you think you're being watched you're less likely to vote/vote in favour of the thing the boss won't like.

  93. Its an intimidation tactic to discourage voting and open support for unions. It reminds people that the boss is watching, even if he can't see inside your ballot. Best to stay away, not show any support, and certainly don't talk to those people organizing a union drive.

  94. I forget the exact percentage but on one of the more recent episodes of Last Week Tonight they cite the fact that union votes that go back to a redo fail at like 90% so odds are the results of this vote will be even worse for the union than the first one. The explanation was the fact that support for joining the union is high initially then deteriorates the longer management has to break down morale. Until the labor board incorporates fines proportional to the amount spent blocking these votes Amazon is just going to keep violating enough rules to force redos until they get the result they want.

  95. Read about the West Virginia Coal Wars, and the Battle of Blair Mountain if you want to know how far the rich are willing to go to stop people from unionizing.

  96. You don't even know what they make, do you? And if you did you'd realize that every single employee, given Alabama's COL, have "thriving" wages, not just living ones. Unions would still be good to fight for better working conditions as that is a legitimate problem that can't be solved with money, but that is a much harder thing to argue which is why the vote will fail again.

  97. Given how one-sided most of the enforcement is they probably would have actually jailed the people responsible along with the redo if that level of interference happened the other way

  98. I guess I'm the only redditor against unions. Sure they work for skilled labor jobs where the employees are hard to find so they have bargaining power but all the grocery unions I was in just took a cut of my already very small paycheck and gave me nothing in return. Every contract negotiation would go on for months followed by us losing more benefits in the end.

  99. One thing to remember is that Alabama ranks almost last in education and the poor ignorant fools will vote against their best interests in favor of unregulated business every time.

  100. I've worked In Labor and Employee Relations since 2013 and what Amazon did here was egregious lol. As soon as we heard about the surveillance the question in the industry became, "when is this getting recalled, and if it doesn't, will the NLRB finally be given teeth?"

  101. Welcome to union busting where you can break all the rules you want and the worst that happens is a negligible fine and having to redo the vote where the vast majority 2nd votes fail

  102. This whole 15 being a magic number is total bullshit. Considering that there hasn’t been a raise for 12 years but inflation has been, means that 15 dollars now is 12 after taxes and it comes out to a dollar raise. It doesn’t even catch up to inflation. You’re just back to where you started with more money to pay your debts, has little to nothing to do with it being a living wage.

  103. Yeah, I don't believe for one fucking second that workers who don't even get time to piss voted against unionizing.

  104. Or Amazon offers really competitive benefits and people who have never entered the warehouse are the ones most vocal about letting everyone know that the workers are uneducated and are voting against their self interests.

  105. Either that or it isn't actually as bad to work there as clickbait articles imply, and a bunch of people really don't like unions.

  106. I'm from there, originally and I can say without a doubt that there is no way this will pass. The people there have an incredible way of consistently voting against their own self interests.

  107. They interfered, that proves the union is needed, motion should be automatically granted and union formed. No re-vote nonsense.

  108. what if a majority don’t want the union regardless of the interference they should be punished because outside forces may have caused a small but not significant difference

  109. I hate to say it, but I truly believe the average worker in the US is not intelligent enough to understand how voting for a union will benefit them. I work in healthcare in nyc and most of my colleagues have at least a Masters degree. Our hospital has tried unionizing and they are more concerned with having to pay union dues than anything else.

  110. I think it’s more about not knowing exactly how a union would benefit the average worker. Our generation (x) has never experienced the benefit of unions and with wages being so low as it is it’s hard to justify an additional expense. I agree that education is critical

  111. Same goes for the other intelligent half of America regarding paying a few cents more in tax for universal health care. " I'm not paying more taxes so some unemployed bum can get free Healthcare", yet pay a blood sucking Corporation a monthly fee or relying on your employment to cover your insurance which then has serious leverage on the employee. Strange system you have yet the ones that bleat on about Socialism or communism wouldn't know much about either but the strangle hold the employers and insurance industry has over people is about the same as a communist government minus people disappearing at night.

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