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SU Professor: Defeat Of Unionization At Amazon Facility Still A "Victory" For Labor

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A Syracuse University Management Professor says the vote against unionizing an Amazon warehouse in Alabama is still a victory for the labor movement.  The final vote tally was about 1,798 to 738.  Whitman School Assistant Professor Lynne Vincent says organizers shouldn’t be disheartened.

“Big wins are great but they’re rare. This still is a win for the union movement because there was a clear, public, and positive discourse.” said Vincent.

Vincent says the final tally is not surprising.   Amazon aggressively campaigned against organizers.

“The deck is stacked against unionization attempts. The organizations hold the power both from resources and capabilities. But they also hold the power when we look at what they are legally allowed to do to discourage employees from unionizing.” said Vincent. 

Workers at the Alabama facility and other warehouses have complained about very demanding working conditions with few breaks and insufficient pandemic safety precautions.  With a new Amazon fulfillment center coming online soon in Clay, Vincent says potential applicants should be vigilant, as they should be for any job.

“Our jobs and the nature of our jobs are extremely important to our identities and our well being both emotional and physical. You should go into any job with your eyes wide open and this case hopefully opens a lot of eyes.” said Vincent.

Union leaders at the Alabama warehouse are planning to contest the results of the vote as well as file charges against Amazon for unfair labor practices. Vincent says while this specific vote may not be over just yet, it is definitely not the end of unionization attempts.

 

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at srwillis@syr.edu.