Amazon Wins Union Election at Second NYC Warehouse

Author: Robert S. Teachout, XpertHR Legal Editor

May 3, 2022

Amazon fought off a unionizing drive by the Amazon Labor Union at a second New York City warehouse. Workers at the LDJ5 facility voted against joining the union by a vote of 618 to 380. The smaller warehouse is located next to the JFK8 warehouse where workers voted in April to form the first union at Amazon.

Amazon's victory shows that employers can still fight off union-organizing campaigns, even in the face of growing momentum by the US labor movement.

According to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which oversaw the election, turnout was about 61%, with about 1,600 workers eligible to vote. The Amazon Labor Union announced the loss on its Twitter feed, vowing "The organizing will continue at this facility and beyond. The fight has just begun."

Amazon has invested heavily to prevent unions from organizing at its facilities and reported spending $4.3 million in 2021 on anti-union campaigns. According to many reports, the company conducted mandatory meetings (sometimes called "captive audience" meetings) to persuade workers to vote against unionizing, hired outside consultants to engage employees on the shop floor, and put up banners and posters throughout the worksite urging workers to vote "no."

The anti-union efforts drew almost as much attention as the union elections, with many pro-union advocates saying Amazon's efforts crossed the line and violated employees' rights to try to form a union. The NLRB ordered a second election at Amazon's Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse after finding that the company had unlawfully interfered with the election.

Employers that find themselves facing a union organizing drive can help ensure that managers and supervisors understand the restrictions on employers during the campaign by remembering the acronym TIPS - no threats, interrogation, promises or spying. Not only are such actions a labor law violation, they also can backfire by giving workers "proof" that they need a union.