Amazon warehouse in Albany votes against unionization

Multiple Amazon facilities have rejected labor organization efforts.

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Workers are still struggling to unionize Amazon warehouses in New York State. Staff at the company's Albany-area ALB1 warehouse have voted 406-206 against joining a union. The 31 challenged ballots aren't enough to alter the outcome. Don't expect a repeat of the Alabama vote, where there were enough disputed ballots to potentially alter the results.

As with past votes, Amazon conducted an anti-union campaign that included discouraging posters and displays in prominent locations around the ALB1 facility. While the extent of the campaign isn't yet known, the company has also been accused at other warehouses of blocking pro-union pamphlets, retaliating against labor organizers and generally interfering with elections. ALB1 employees have been trying to form a union since at least May, and succeeded with an August petition to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold an election.

Amazon told Engadget it was happy with the vote and felt the absence of a union was the "best arrangement" for both team members and customers. In a statement, the ALU said this was a "sham election" and accused Amazon of violating labor law through tactics that included intimidation and retaliation. While the union didn't outline its formal response to the vote, it stressed that this "won't be the end" of the organization at ALB1.

Pro-union forces haven't had many victories at Amazon buildings. While those at the JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island voted to unionize, others at the nearby LDJ5 opted against it. That's on top of the failed Alabama vote and Amazon's reported attempts to quash labor movements in places like Maryland's DMD9 facility. While there's still a mounting labor movement that has prompted walkouts and impromptu strikes, they haven't had much practical impact.

Amazon has occasionally addressed the concerns of workers by raising wages. It has a history of opposing reforms to working conditions, though. For now, the company is only expected to improve conditions and reinstate fired workers in response to NLRB-linked orders and government legislation.