Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: National Labor Relations Board

Amazon Workers on Staten Island Aim for Union Vote

Technology
Tucked in four plastic tubs in a tent by a Staten Island bus stop are stacks of cards with valuable autographs: the signatures of more than 1,700 hourly Amazon workers.“I, the undersigned, authorize the Amazon Labor Union to represent me for the purpose of collective bargaining,” the cards read.The commitments are the results of six months of organizing at Amazon’s only fulfillment center in New York City. The organizers expect to have several hundred more by Monday, when they plan to file for a union election.If the National Labor Relations Board validates their request, it could bring the second unionization vote at an Amazon warehouse in less than a year. In April, Amazon defeated a union election at its warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., in what was the gravest union threat the company had f...

As Starbucks Workers Seek a Union, Company Officials Converge on Stores

Business
BUFFALO — During her decade-plus at Starbucks, Michelle Eisen says she has endured her share of workplace stress. She points to the company’s increased use of productivity goals, inadequate attention to training and periods of understaffing or high turnover.But she had never encountered a change that the company made after workers at her store and two other Buffalo-area locations filed for a union election in late August: two additional “support managers” from out of state, who often work on the floor with the baristas and who, according to Ms. Eisen, have created unease.“For a lot of newer baristas, it’s an imposing force,” Ms. Eisen said. “It is not an easy job. It should not be complicated further by feeling like you’re having everything you’re doing or saying watched and listened to.”W...
Amazon settles with activist workers who say they were illegally fired.

Amazon settles with activist workers who say they were illegally fired.

Technology
Amazon has settled with two of its most prominent internal critics, staving off a public hearing over accusations that the company illegally fired the pair, lawyers for the parties told an administrative judge on Wednesday.The terms of the settlement were not immediately disclosed.The former employees, Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, have said they were fired last year because they publicly pushed the company to reduce its impact on climate change and address concerns about its warehouse workers. Amazon has maintained that the former employees repeatedly broke internal policies.The settlement was reached at a high-wire moment for Amazon, which has pledged to be “Earth’s best employer” and is looking, in a tight labor market, to hire 40,000 corporate and tech workers and 125,000 warehouse...
Activision hires new executives after a workplace culture lawsuit.

Activision hires new executives after a workplace culture lawsuit.

Technology
Activision Blizzard, the company behind popular games like Call of Duty, said on Tuesday that it was hiring two executives, including a new head of human resources, as part of an effort to build a more inclusive workplace and grow revenue.Julie Hodges, a senior vice president at the Walt Disney Company, will become Activision’s new chief people officer, the company said in a statement. Ms. Hodges will replace Claudine Naughton, who will leave this month “to pursue other interests,” the company said.Sandeep Dube, a senior vice president at Delta Air Lines, will fill the role of chief commercial officer. That job has been vacant since March.In July, Activision was sued by a California employment agency, which said the company had fostered a “frat boy workplace culture” in which women were ro...
Starbucks Workers in Buffalo Seek Union Vote

Starbucks Workers in Buffalo Seek Union Vote

Business
For years, Starbucks workers have complained about the company’s labor practices, saying that chronic understaffing has led to a chaotic work environment, erratic hours and difficulty taking sick days.Despite periodic commitments by Starbucks to revise its policies, the complaints lingered and appeared to intensify during the pandemic, when overstretched workers also had to contend with new health concerns and safety protocols.Now the longstanding frustrations are fueling one of the most serious union campaigns ever to confront the company, whose more than 8,000 corporate-owned locations in the United States are not unionized.Last week, Starbucks workers in the Buffalo area announced that they were forming a union called Starbucks Workers United, and on Monday they filed petitions from emp...
Amazon Faces Wider Fight Over Labor Practices

Amazon Faces Wider Fight Over Labor Practices

Technology
Perhaps the most prominent voice in this discussion is the more than one-million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which approved a resolution at its convention in June committing the union to “supply all resources necessary” to organize workers at the company and help them win a union contract.The Teamsters argue that holding union votes at individual work sites is typically futile at a company like Amazon, because labor law allows employers to wage aggressive anti-union campaigns, and because high turnover means union supporters often leave the company before they have a chance to vote.Instead, the Teamsters favor a combination of tactics like strikes, protests and boycotts that pressure the company to come to the bargaining table and negotiate a contract covering wages, ben...
Labor Board Official Backs Union Challenge on Amazon Vote

Labor Board Official Backs Union Challenge on Amazon Vote

Technology
A hearing officer of the National Labor Relations Board has recommended that the board throw out a union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., where results announced in early April showed workers rejecting a union by a more than two-to-one ratio.The union announced the recommendation on Monday, and Amazon quickly said it would take steps to ensure that the original election result prevailed.The hearing officer’s recommendation, which includes holding a new election, will be reviewed by the acting regional director of the agency, who will issue a ruling on the case in the coming weeks. If the regional director rules against Amazon, the company can appeal to the labor board in Washington.The union campaign at the warehouse, which had more than 5,000 eligible workers, was the hi...
Amazon Union Vote in Alabama Gathers 3,215 Ballots

Amazon Union Vote in Alabama Gathers 3,215 Ballots

Technology
The union seeking to represent workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama said late Wednesday that there were 3,215 ballots cast — or about 55 percent of the roughly 5,800 workers who were eligible to vote.The ballots are expected to be counted by hand starting either Thursday afternoon or Friday morning in the National Labor Relations Board’s office in Birmingham, according to the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union. Hundreds of ballots are being contested, mostly by Amazon, the union said.The vote counting will be shown on a videoconference call to a small number of outsiders, including journalists, in addition to representatives from the union and the company.Union elections are typically held in person, but the labor board determined that the election should be conducted by mail...
Amazon Illegally Fired Activist Workers, Labor Board Finds

Amazon Illegally Fired Activist Workers, Labor Board Finds

Technology
SEATTLE — Amazon illegally retaliated against two of its most prominent internal critics when it fired them last year, the National Labor Relations Board has determined.The employees, Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, had publicly pushed the company to reduce its impact on climate change and address concerns about its warehouse workers.The agency told Ms. Cunningham and Ms. Costa that it would accuse Amazon of unfair labor practices if the company did not settle the case, according to correspondence that Ms. Cunningham shared with The New York Times.“It’s a moral victory and really shows that we are on the right side of history and the right side of the law,” Ms. Cunningham said.The two women were among dozens of Amazon workers who in the last year told the labor board about company retali...
Contentious Union Vote at Amazon Heads to a Count

Contentious Union Vote at Amazon Heads to a Count

Technology
SEATTLE — By the end of Monday, thousands of yellow envelopes mailed to a squat brick building in Birmingham, Ala., will hold the fate of one of the most closely watched union elections in recent history, one that could alter the shape of the labor movement and one of America’s largest employers.The envelopes contain the ballots of workers at an Amazon warehouse near Birmingham. Almost 6,000 workers at the building, one of Amazon’s largest, are eligible to decide whether they form the first union at an Amazon operation in the United States, after years of fierce resistance by the company.The organizers have made the case in a monthslong campaign that Amazon’s intense monitoring of workers infringes on their dignity, and that its pay is not commensurate with the constant pressure workers fe...