Amazon CEO Andy Jassi still won’t accept Staten Island union win

Amazon CEO Andy Jassi appears unwilling to accept the results of the historic Staten Island union election, which was the union’s first U.S. warehouse victory.

In an interview on stage at the Code Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Wednesday, Yassy said there were “very troubling irregularities” in workers’ voting at the JFK8 warehouse in New York and cited the long-running battle with the National Labor Relations Board. (NLRB), which oversaw the election. Amazon did dispute the union’s victory, claiming more than 20 problems with the union’s behavior, including voter harassment and how the NLRB conducted and organized the elections. But an NLRB official who recently oversaw the objection hearing recommended to dismiss all of Amazon’s objections. and that the Amazon union victory be certified. Yassy’s comments on Wednesday suggest that Amazon will continue to fight the NLRB on this issue.

“I think it’s going to take a long time because I think it’s unlikely that the NLRB is going to [rule] against themselves,” Yassi said on Wednesday.

Amazon has until September 16 to file exceptions to the report. Based on Yassy’s comments, the tech giant is likely to do just that. Even when the NLRB eventually confirms the election, the union struggle is not over. US labor law does not oblige Amazon to agree to a deal with a union, only “in good faith”. Jassi’s comments on Wednesday suggest the company is very far from such action. In the same breath, Jassi said that unionization was “not our choice” and that “employees will decide.” in another, he seemed unwilling to go along with the decision of the majority of the Staten Island warehouse workers.

Yassi, as in the past, spoke of the company’s pay and benefits package — Amazon workers’ starting average wages are now over $18 an hour — as a key reason why the company’s 1 million American workers don’t need a union. performance. He scoffed at the proposal to pay his employees as little as $25 an hour, stating that Amazon needed to run a sustainable business, and basically arguing that the company couldn’t afford it.

“There is a limit to the economy that you can pay and have a business that can be profitable,” he said.

In any case, Amazon warehouse workers elsewhere, such as North Carolina and Albany, New York, are also organizing to form or join a union. Teamsters is also making organizing Amazon workers one of its top priorities.

Yassi, a 25-year company veteran who previously led Amazon Web Services, inherited the CEO role from Jeff Bezos in July 2021, when the company appeared to be at a tipping point. A record number of shoppers were shopping on Amazon and watching its video streaming service. But its long-standing place as one of the beloved tech companies has come under fire as some politicians, working groups, and even some of its employees have come under fire.

For more than a year, the company’s tasks have only grown. Amazon’s sales growth slowed sharply as more people returned to shopping and spending money on activities in the physical world, leaving the e-commerce giant with too many workers and too many storage spaces. As a result, Yassy observed radical reduction of the company’s warehouse networksuspending or canceling tens of millions of square feet of warehouse development projects.

Amazon is also fighting to stay out of the way of politicians and regulators in Washington, D.C., while Yassy travels to the nation’s capital to personally defend his company’s interests. Amazon has spent heavily fighting a Senate bill sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) that gives regulators the power to sue tech giants like Amazon for business practices that favor their own products and services over with products and services of third parties that conduct business. on their platforms or who use their users’ private data to provide their own services. But the bill has not yet received a full vote in the Senate, and time is running out ahead of the midterm elections. The Federal Trade Commission has also been investigating Amazon since 2019, but has yet to confirm the investigation or file a lawsuit against the company.

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