Amazon workers in Schodack file for union election
Union campaign organizers at the Amazon facility in Schodack officially filed Wednesday with the National Labor Relations Board to hold a union election.
Organizers from the facility, known as ALB1, have been working on the effort for months despite amazon saying it doesn’t want that to happen.
“We have experienced anti-union tactics, have escalated to a very hostile work environment,” Lead Organizer and Amazon employee Heather Goodall said at a news conference announcing the filing Wednesday.
She was joined by another organizer from the Amazon Labor Union who was part of the successful effort to vote to form the first-ever Amazon union in April at the company’s facility on Staten Island.
Goodall works at the Schodack facility, gathering the products people order and delivering them to be packed.
“They are definitely using intimidation tactics to hurt and manipulate employees that are already subjected to grotesque working conditions,” she said.
Workers say they endure low pay, getting injured on the job and getting punished for using the bathroom during a shift—reasons they say they decided to fight to form a union.
“They are scared of us, and they should be, because we will no longer allow this,” Goodall said.
Amazon spokesperson Paul Flaningan tells NewsChannel 13, “Our employees have the choice of whether or not to join a union. They always have. As a company, we don’t think unions are the best answer for our employees. Our focus remains on working directly with our team to continue making Amazon a great place to work.”
Organizers say they need 30% of employees to show interest in the union. They’re confident they have that, even though they claim Amazon is lying about how many people actually work there, to dilute support for the union.
“We’re calling on Amazon to fight fair,” Goodall said. “The element of fear is very strong in that warehouse. And these people had the ability, the courage, the knowledge, to actually disregard all of these violations to stand strong.”
The next step is to confirm exactly how many employees work inside the facility, to ensure a fair union election.
The Amazon workers’ movement to unionize has tried to gain traction elsewhere, including a warehouse in Kentucky. Meanwhile, the results of an election at an Alabama facility remain too close to call.
Amazon is also fighting to get the vote at the New York City warehouse thrown out. The retail giant is arguing that the ALU and National Labor Relations Board acted in a way that tainted the results of the election.
Watch the full press conference below: