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Judge Rules Amazon Engaged in Anti-Union Activities in New York

Mike Mareen-stock.Adobe.com

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has won a ruling against Amazon for harassing employees seeking to unionize its JFK8 and DYY6 fulfillment facilities in Staten Island, N.Y. In a Nov. 21 ruling, Administrative Law Judge Lauren Esposito found that Amazon had violated the National Labor Relations Act by dismissing employees early, altering employees’ work assignments and subjecting employees to closer supervision in retaliation for their support for the Amazon Labor Union.

The decision also found that Amazon unlawfully interrogated employees, disparaged the union by using appeals to racial prejudice and derogatory racial stereotyping, and prohibited employees from distributing union literature and confiscating union literature from employees.

Unionization efforts at Amazon facilities have chalked up a mixed record: 55% of employees at the JFK8 facility voted to unionize in April 2022, while an organizing effort in a Bessemer, Ala. facility ultimately failed.

Some of the pressure in support of workers’ rights is coming from independent Amazon investors: at the company’s meeting in May 2023, a group representing 41.8% of shareholders voted in favor of a labor rights assessment conducted by a third party. The proposal was filed by SHARE and SOC Investment Group and received support from shareholders including the New York City Comptroller, Praxis Mutual Funds, Active Super and Norges Bank.

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