Feeds

Amazon workers in Delaware reject trade union membership

Minority's 'no' vote blocks union question for another year

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A small number of Amazon warehouse workers in Delaware have voted against joining a union, which claims that the employees were under pressure from the firm to stay away from third-party representation.

In a vote administered by the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB), the Amazon staff voted 21 to six against joining the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). The vote was a tentative first step that was only applied to mechanics and technicians at the site and not the 1,500 or more packers and shippers working at the distribution centre.

However, now that the vote has gone against IAM, under NLRB rules, there can't be another vote on unionisation at the facility for a year.

John Carr, an IAM spokesperson, said Amazon had worked hard to ensure that staff didn't go for unionisation, in a statement carried by Delaware Online, Reuters and others.

"The workers at Amazon faced intense pressure from managers and anti-union consultants hired to suppress this organising drive,” he claimed. "We responded when these workers initially reached out to us, and we’ll continue to work with them to pursue the collective bargaining rights they’re entitled to under federal labour law."

Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako said that workers wanted to deal directly with the mega-etailer.

“With today’s vote against third-party representation, our employees have made it clear that they prefer a direct connection with Amazon,” she said in a statement. “Amazon’s culture and business model are based on rapid innovation, flexibility and open lines of direct communication between managers and associates.”

If the vote had gone through, it would have been the first union at any of Amazon's 40 or so distribution centres around the US.

Amazon's warehouses worldwide have faced increasing scrutiny as workers complain of draconian conditions in the facilities. Reports have emerged of staff walking up to 11 miles a day back and forth to get items off shelves for packaging and posting, with employees being allocated set times to retrieve items and having handheld monitoring modules beep at them when they don't meet the clock's demands.

Workers in Germany have been striking on and off for more than a year in a pay dispute over the fact that Amazon is classing its staff as logistics sector employees instead of mail order and retail staff, which changes their wage levels and bargaining positions. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.