Exclusive: Amazon instructs New York workers ‘don’t sign’ union cards

Amazon — the second largest employer in the United States — has made clear its desire to discourage its workforce from unionizing. At one of its warehouses, ALB1 in upstate New York, that message has become crystal clear: “Don’t sign a card.”

Photos of the new digital signage were sent to Engadget by a staff member at the facility; their presence was confirmed by a second member of staff, David, who claims to have been at the logistics center since around it opened in 2020. According to David (whose full name is being kept secret for fear of retaliation from his employer), union posters have been put up today, alternating between about seven different slides, each actively discouraging workers from signing a union card. “It’s on a constant loop as people clock in and out of their shifts,” he said, “[when] they take their breaks or they eat lunch. Every time we will be in front.”

Gallery: Signage ALB1 | 7 photos

Amazon has been known to put up signs designed to discourage unionization at other facilities. As Vice reported in March, workers at JFK8 in Staten Island, New York, were rewarded with a series of posters with thoughtful slogans such as “Is Union Life For Me?” and “Will they [Amazon Labor Union]’Voice replaces mine?’ The signage at ALB1 appears to be the most forceful the company has used to date to express its disdain for an organized workforce. The company also has a track record of violating labor laws and frustrating organizational efforts: dismissals or other retaliatory measures against workers, prevented workers from distributing leaflets, disrupted a union election and planned behind closed doors a smear campaign against a prominent organizer.

We have reached out to both Amazon and the National Labor Relations Board for comment on the legality of this signage and will update when we receive feedback.

ALB1 workers have been pushing for union formation since at least May. It’s not yet clear if the organizing effort is aimed at joining the Amazon Labor Union — the grassroots group that successfully voted to unionize one of the Staten Island facilities in April — although management at that fulfillment center has reorganized the group on the basis of the new one Signage apparently takes into account its primary threat. Almost all signs refer specifically to ALU, which the company describes as “untested and unproven”; another even suggests that joining the ALU would mean giving up some level of privacy, although it’s not clear in what way. We have also reached out to ALU and will update when we hear from the group.

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https://www.engadget.com/amazon-alb-1-anti-union-signage-alu-004207814.html?src=rss Exclusive: Amazon instructs New York workers ‘don’t sign’ union cards

Russell Falcon

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