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posted by martyb on Saturday April 10 2021, @02:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the people-have-spoken dept.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/04/the-amazon-union-drive-in-alabama-appears-headed-for-defeat/

Update: A majority of workers have voted not to form a union at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Bessemer, Alabama. The result of the NLRB's initial vote count was 1,798 votes against the union and 738 in favor. Hundreds of additional ballots were not counted because their authenticity was disputed. But the "no" side already has a majority of the 3,215 votes cast, making the issue moot.

Original story, April 8: A closely watched effort to unionize an Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama appears to be headed for defeat. With about half the votes counted, 1,100 workers have voted against forming a union, while only 463 voted in favor.

The National Labor Relations Board is counting the 3,215 votes that were cast by workers at the Bessemer facility. The union needs to win at least half the votes in order to become the official representative of the roughly 6,000 workers at the Bessemer facility. Counting has ended for the evening and is scheduled to resume at 8:30 am Central Time on Friday.

Also at The Washington Post, c|net, and Al Jazeera.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:10PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:10PM (#1135780)

    In general, I'd point out that Amazon's employee contracts, like most employee contracts these days, don't allow workers to sue Amazon for breaking US labor law.

    How is that in any way legal?

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Thexalon on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:48PM (6 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:48PM (#1135795)

    One of the most important legal issues you've probably never thought about: Binding arbitration clauses + class action waivers. The binding arbitration clause means that any disputes of any kind end up going not to the courts but to a private arbitrator selected by the company (and the company can and does ensure that the arbitrator will minimize how much they have to pay out). And the class action waiver means that the workers can't respond together if management does the same thing to all of them at the same time.

    The US Supreme Court has steadily and fairly quietly made that legal in more and more situations, including when state law says they're illegal.

    Yes, that's as ridiculous as it sounds, and lots of law professors and such have pointed out that this is effectively an attempt to eliminate the entirety of civil law for employer-employee relations.

    --
    The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday April 10 2021, @11:45PM (4 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 10 2021, @11:45PM (#1135846) Journal
      The obvious rebuttal to that is you're in territory that is traditional grounds for voiding a contract. If a business creates such contracts with the intent that the company can commit wrong doing and have it protected by the arbitration process, then that's a contract entered into with bad faith, maybe even fraud -such as if the business has presented the arbitrator as being independent while it was not.

      Arbitration (in the US) serves a useful purpose - it keeps a lot of crap out of the US court system which has plenty wrong with it, being costly and slow.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12 2021, @06:58AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12 2021, @06:58AM (#1136276)

        Oh, Christ! Khallow is on another "obvious rebuttal"! Can't we form a Soylentil union to prevent such eggregious abuse?

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday April 12 2021, @02:59PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 12 2021, @02:59PM (#1136424) Journal
          I have an even simpler suggestion. Think before you post. This is an obvious situation that should have been anticipated by the person making the earlier post. Contracts get voided all the time for stuff like bad faith, fraud, and duress. And arbitration didn't come about because companies want to screw over workers, but because there's deep problems with arbitration via the courts.
      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday April 12 2021, @09:13PM (1 child)

        by Thexalon (636) on Monday April 12 2021, @09:13PM (#1136672)

        The thing is, that requires affirmatively proving the bad intent in a court of law, in the face of a motion to dismiss before discovery starts, which means you don't have access to documents and witnesses about how the policy was created. So basically, you can't prove the contract is unconscionable, even if it is.

        --
        The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday April 13 2021, @12:49AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 13 2021, @12:49AM (#1136780) Journal
          Wouldn't be the first shenanigan that requires some footwork to show.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @04:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @04:13PM (#1136038)

      In a civilized society, you wouldn't be allowed to sign away that right and especially not without being compensated for the loss. Signing away your right to sue is uncomfortably close to signing up for slavery. If they want to make you work for free or violate your other rights, the only recourse is to quit or hope the owned arbitrator doesn't know which side their toast is buttered on.

  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday April 12 2021, @12:41AM

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Monday April 12 2021, @12:41AM (#1136201) Journal

    Money, honey! When you can buy politicians and laws, you can make *anything* legal. And for the few things you can't directly, you can stall out any lawsuits (and settle the others out of sight) and in general make it so the law does not apply to you in any meaningful way. It's all about money.

    --
    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...