In a WaPo story yesterday, the president of the union organizing Amazon’s warehouse in Alabama said they’ve gathered more than 3,000 union cards there. That figure has made some folks I've talked to queasy — and others optimistic — and it’s worth explaining why.
First off, that’s a big number! Having 3,000+ Amazon workers at a single warehouse sign union cards was tough to imagine not long ago. It’s a sign of real strength for the union, RWDSU. The concern is the size of the bargaining unit.
The NLRB has given the green light for an election involving about 6,000 Amazon workers. You need to win a simple majority of votes cast. If those 3,000+ come out for the union, the union wins. Problem is, employers always scare off some of the workers who signed cards.
That’s why a lot of organizers will say they don’t like to file for an election unless they’ve got cards from ~75%. In this case, that would be around 4,500. But the unit has grown quite a bit from what the union originally envisioned, in part b/c Amazon got seasonal workers in.
That’s why some folks I’ve talked to *outside* the campaign have indigestion. Cause for optimism: The union appears to be rapidly gathering more support. Per spokesperson, they had 2,000 cards in late Dec. It was 3,000+ when the election was set on Jan. 15. That's fast progress.
But if you read @greene's story you see Amazon has a full-court press going. That's why you usually want an overwhelming majority of workers onboard going into an election. Amazon is working hard to pull many of those 3,000+ into the 'no' column.…

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Dave Jamieson

Dave Jamieson Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @jamieson

5 Feb
BREAKING: The labor board has denied Amazon's request to stop the union election from going forward at its Alabama warehouse. Ballots are scheduled to go out in the mail Monday morning. This thing is on.
Amazon asked the board to review its case arguing that the election should happen in-person *during a full-blown pandemic*. In a two-sentence order the board said it found "no substantial issues warranting review." Amazon's motion to stay also denied. Image
Oof. Even two GOP members of the board shot down Amazon here, essentially saying there's no good reason for an in-person vote in this case. That's got to sting. Image
Read 4 tweets
21 Jan
NEW: White House official confirmed for me that Joe Biden just fired Peter Robb after he refused to resign as NLRB general counsel.
For those who haven't been following, this sets a new precedent. Unions wanted Robb gone immediately -- they think he's that bad -- but the gen counsel typically serves out their full 4-year term even when it spills into a new presidency. Background here:…
Robb is a long-time mgmt-side attorney who helped break the famous PATCO strike. As gen counsel he drove unions crazy, getting McDonald's a friendly settlement in a big Fight for $15 case, going after 'neutrality' agreements, and even picking a fight with @ScabbyTheRat
Read 7 tweets
19 Jan
Trump’s Labor Dept just issued a last-minute ‘guidance letter’ stating that local news reporters are doing ‘creative’ work and therefore can be excluded from minimum wage and overtime protections. This is something unnamed publishers would have asked of the administration:
A guidance letter is basically a memo to employers (and the world) explaining how the agency reads wage-and-hour law in particular scenarios. Guidance letters like this from the Trump labor department have made employers quite happy for obvious reasons.
There’s a history here. Workers employed in ‘creative’ capacities can be carved out of overtime pay, and that exception has been used against journalists before. When I explained this once to @ryangrim he said ‘so it all depend on how hot your takes are...’
Read 4 tweets
14 Jan
Some labor news: SEIU has been pressing Biden to immediately fire Peter Robb, the NLRB's Trump-appointed general counsel. That's not normally done under a new prez. It would be a precedent-setting move that shows Biden willing to play hardball for unions…
SEIU sent a memo to the Biden transition team calling Robb an “extreme, anti-union ideologue” and a “uniquely destructive figure.” SEIU has made the same case to other unions. Source tells me the AFL-CIO supports canning Robb as well. They all want him out of there ASAP.
With a Dem majority in the Senate, the main risk here is that a future R president will do the same, and fire a Dem general counsel who's got time left at the board. The can-Robb-now camp basically says "let's not bank on the GOP observing this norm next time they're in charge"
Read 4 tweets
14 Dec 20
The McConnell-Cornyn "liability protection" proposal is pretty radical. Not only would it block lawsuits over COVID exposure, it would make it just about impossible for OSHA to enforce basic workplace safety laws. They couldn't even dole out the tiny fines they've been doing.
I guess they need to make sure Smithfield doesn't get hit with another monster $13,494 fine after some workers die from coronavirus.
The proposal would also protect corporations from enforcement/lawsuits related to a host of other employment laws: FLSA (wage theft), WARN (notice ahead of layoffs), Civil Rights Act and ADA (discrimination)
Read 8 tweets
6 Oct 20
Many people don't realize this but OSHA has jurisdiction over the White House. Employees there could file complaints against Trump for endangering them with coronavirus. One former OSHA official tells me there's a strong case to be made he's violating the general duty clause. 1/x
This is the general duty clause -- OSHA has already used it to cite meatpacking plants for endangering workers in the pandemic. Sure looks like a strong case to me! 2/x
Former official says Trump may also be violating OSHA standards on personal protective equipment and respirators, and recklessly endangering White House employees in the process. 3/x
Read 7 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!