Amazon calls for election re-run, says organisers gave out marijuana
- The ALU rejected the allegations made by the online retailer that is the second-largest US private employer
- Amazon made its demand a week after the landmark victory for organised labour
- Amazon also accused the ALU of intimidating workers and distributing marijuana to gain votes in its favour
Amazon has called for a rerun of an election on Friday after workers at a Staten Island warehouse voted to create the company's first US union, claiming that actions by the US labour board and worker-organisers suppressed the vote and denied staff their voice.
Reuters reported that the Amazon Labour Union rejected the allegations made by the online retailer that is the second-largest US private employer.
Amazon made its demand a week after the landmark victory for organised labour, which for years has sought to offer protections to workers at the company. About 55% of employees who voted from Amazon's JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island opted to join the ALU, which has argued for higher pay and job security. Turnout was about 58%.
In a statement, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said, "We want our employees to have their voices heard, and in this case, that didn't happen – fewer than a third of the employees at the site voted for the union."
According to a company filing on Friday, Amazon also accused the ALU of intimidating workers and distributing marijuana to gain votes in its favour.
Derrick Palmer, vice president of the ALU, said Amazon is trying to "demean our character and undermine our efforts."
The National Labour Relations Board now must process Amazon’s objections before certifying the election result. The timing for this was not immediately clear.
In its filing, Amazon said the NLRB improperly helped the ALU gain standing to hold an election and created the impression that it supported the union. Amazon also accused the NLRB of hampering turnout through mismanagement in the polling area and by allowing camera crews on site that scared away voters.