Historic victory for the first union in the Amazon in the United States

The “YesShe won it by 2,654 votes to 2,131, according to a tally broadcast on the Internet on Friday. The victory was praised by the American president himself, and he said to himself:happySo that the staff can be heard.

An AFP journalist noted that when the results were announced, the small crowd gathered for the occasion applauded at the bottom of the building in the Brooklyn area where the count was taking place. Many are still surprised by their success.

ALLU‘, which is the union’s name for the Amazon union, and has been repeated several times. Its president, Christian Smalls, opens a bottle of champagne.

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In front of the press, he ironically thanks Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for going into space,”Because while he was there, we managed to create a guild“.

For its part, the company said in a press release:disappointment” And he said “Evaluate your optionsAmong other things, Amazon is considering filing a dispute againstInappropriate effectElection Supervision Agency (NLRB).

The second largest employer in the United States after distribution giant Walmart, the group has succeeded since its inception in 1994 in fending off the desires of employees who want to regroup in the country.

It really is a historic day‘The attorney representing the ALU, Eric Milner, confirmed.I think it could start a chain reaction, from one repository to another.

A total of 8,325 workers at the JFK8 site in the Staten Island neighborhood were on the voter list. After a call to vote from March 25-30 in a tent set up in front of the warehouse, 4,852 employees inserted a ballot paper into the ballot box.

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– “very unlikely“-

They had very little chance of winning,” notes Rebecca Jevan, a specialist in labor movements at Rutgers University.

She was not very optimistic in the lead up to the vote, because the current law on trade unions is particularly favorable to employers.

And ALU, which was set up last spring by a small group of current and former Amazon employees in New York, had little money against a giant that earned more than $30 billion in 2021.

We may have spent a total of $120,000‘, which originated through crowdfunding campaigns or T-shirt sales, says Madeline Wesley, ALU member.

For its part, the company hired specialized consultants and summoned employees for several mandatory meetings to present the disadvantages of the union to them.

It won’t cost them much money‘, remarks by Neil Saunders, Distribution Specialist at GlobalData.But they do not like union interference.

The movement had started at the start of the pandemic, when a few warehouse employees organized a small demonstration to demand more health protection against Covid-19. Christian Smalls was fired soon after.

Then they decided to try their luck themselves after turning down an experienced labor union in the spring of 2021 at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. A second vote was taken there recently and on Thursday evening,nonGet there with 993 ballot papers for 875.Yes“.But 416 alleged ballot papers remain.”disputedWho will decide the outcome.

ALU has already been mobilized for its next battle: the LDJ5 sorting center, across the street from the JFK8 warehouse. Voting will take place at the end of the month.

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I’m sure we’ll win there toosaid Christian Smalls, who has spent the past eleven months at the bus station serving both buildings talking to staff.

Over the course of several decades, unions have achieved several symbolic victories in the United States in recent months, starting with the apparent support of Joe Biden.

The creation of the first consortium at the chain’s directly operated Starbucks coffee in the United States in December sparked enthusiasm as staff, often young and educated, were mobilized at NGOs, universities, museums and the media.

but amazonIt’s another dimension‘” notes Ruth Milkman, a sociologist at the City University of New York, contemplates”surprised” And the “impressed“What ALU has been able to do despite its limited capabilities.

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I don’t know if this will lead to a wave, but it will certainly inspire others to see that despite all the obstacles, it is possible.


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