Amazon CEO Andy Jassy on Wednesday said the company's effort to overturn a union vote at its Staten Island warehouse is "going to take a long time to play out." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Amazon CEO Andy Jassy on Wednesday said the company's effort to overturn a union election at a New York warehouse would likely be a lengthy process.
Speaking at the Code Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., Jassy claimed there were "very disturbing irregularities" in the vote that saw workers at Amazon's JFK8 warehouse on New York's Staten Island become the first unionized Amazon workers recognized by the National Labor Relations Board.
Last week, the NLRB denied Amazon's request to nullify the Amazon Labor Union, which was established more than a year ago, but Jassy on Wednesday indicated the company would likely take its challenge beyond the NLRB.
"I think that's going to take a long time to play out because I think it's unlikely the NLRB is going to [rule] against themselves," he said.
Amazon has until Sept. 16 to file objections to the NLRB hearing officer's report, which would be reviewed by another agency official.
The company can also challenge the NLRB's conduct in federal court.
During the vote in April 2,654 workers voted in favor of unionizing and while 2,131 voted against it. Another 67 ballots were challenged and 17 were voided.
About a week later, Amazon filed a grievance with the NLRB, listing 25 objections to the election, including alleged threats of violence which "chilled" anti-union turnout and accused union backers of "distributing marijuana" to workers in exchange for their votes.
Jassy on Wednesday noted that the New York vote was the only successful union effort within the company to date.
"I think it hasn't been a huge, broad union issue," he said.
He also said that Amazon warehouse employees would have to choose between "the compelling set of benefits they have today with us" or joining a union.
"It's unclear what benefits they'll get. Whether they'll be as good as what they have now or not," he said.
Warehouse workers at Amazon facilities in North Carolina and Albany, N.Y., have organized with the goal of forming or joining a union and the Teamsters union has also sought to prioritize organizing Amazon workers.