Last month’s historic Labor vote to unionize an Amazon warehouse in New York City on Staten Island could be reversed after the Seattle-based Web giant challenged it in court, according to a federal regulator.
Amazon won the hearing last week based on its objections to the union vote — and the evidence behind those claims “could be grounds for reversing the election,” Cornell Overstreet, an official with the National Labor Relations Board, said in Friday’s filing.
Overstreet heads the NLRB’s office in Phoenix, Ariz., where a hearing on the New York vote will take place after Amazon successfully argued that the NLRB’s Brooklyn office appeared to support Union Drive, filings show.
Overstreet has set a hearing date for May 23, when both sides can begin presenting their cases. According to the filing, the case was transferred to the NLRB’s Phoenix office in April.
Overstreet did not indicate which claims in Amazon’s complaint — which listed 25 potential violations by the Amazon labor union, according to a court filing Friday — may qualify.
According to the complaint, Amazon filed its objections on April 22, saying the evidence “will demonstrate that the actions of the region and the ALU unfairly suppressed and influenced the vote.”
“We want our employees to have their voices heard, and in this case, that didn’t happen — less than a third of employees at the site voted for union,” Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said in a statement.
Eric Milner, an attorney for the Amazon labor union, said the bar is “too low” for a hearing, according to a Reuters report.
No official investigated Amazon’s alleged evidence, Milner claimed, “While ALU is disappointed in any delay by Amazon in its bargaining obligations, we are confident that all of Amazon’s objections will eventually be dismissed.”
The historic vote represents the first time in Amazon’s 28-year history that a labor campaign has been successful. About 55% of Amazon employees who voted at the Staten Island warehouse known as JFK8 supported the union.
The result of a separate union vote in Bessemer, Ala. hangs in the balance as 416 votes were cast by Amazon and the union led that campaign, the retail, wholesale and department store union.