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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Amazon May Get Its First Labor Union in the U.S.

Today's post was shared by Steven Greenhouse and comes from www.businessweek.com

Employees work on the inbound line at the Amazon fulfillment center in Phoenix on Dec. 2
Amazon May Get Its First Labor Union in the U.S.
Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
Employees work on the inbound line at the Amazon fulfillment center in Phoenix on Dec. 2
Amazon.com’s (AMZN) labor problems have mostly been confined to the online retailer’s warehouses in countries such as Germany—until now. For the first time, employees in a U.S. Amazon facility have successfully petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to hold union elections.
On Dec. 6, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), a trade union of the AFL-CIO, filed a union election petition with the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of 30 equipment maintenance and repair technicians working at the year-old Amazon fulfillment center in Middletown, Del. The fact that the petition was filed suggests, according to the union, that it has interest from at least a majority of those 30 workers, who are seeking to vote on whether to hold elections to establish a union.
According to John Carr, a spokesman for the IAMAW, Amazon and the union have now reached an agreement to go forward with this election. It will be held on Jan. 15 in a conference room at the Delaware facility; only members of the group of 30 technicians will be allowed to vote. The vast majority of workers at the year-old facility—more than 1,500 pickers and packers who move products from shelves into boxes and trucks—will not vote, nor will they be covered by the union if...
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