CNBC reports that "Amazon delivery drivers at one of the company’s California facilities joined the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the union said Monday, in a win for labor organizers that have long sought to gain a foothold at the e-retailer.
"A group of 84 workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Palmdale, California, won voluntary recognition by Battle-Tested Strategies, a third-party delivery contractor, to be represented by the Teamsters. That allows the workers and the Teamsters to sidestep the union election process, which can be challenging and last for many months."
The story says that "Battle-Tested Strategies is one of the legions of third-party delivery firms contracted by Amazon to shuttle packages to shoppers’ doorsteps." The company and the Teamsters have reportedly reached a tentative agreement on a new contract that "includes immediate wage increases and substantial hourly raises, along with provisions that address concerns around health and safety standards." The unionized employees are scheduled to vote on the contract in coming weeks.
CNBC notes that while there has been a lot of unionization talk around Amazon, "so far, only one Amazon warehouse in the U.S. has voted to join a union. Workers at the JFK8 site on New York’s Staten Island voted last April to be represented by the Amazon Labor Union, a grassroots group of current and former employees. But the union has yet to reach a contract with Amazon, as the company continues to challenge the election results in court."
Amazon has not yet commented on the Teamsters deal.
- KC's View:
What's the over-under on how long it will take Amazon to decide to terminate its contract with Battle-Tested Strategies and replace it with another, non-unionized company?
If it is legally possible, the bet here is that Amazon will try to send a message to Battle-Tested Strategies and all the delivery firms it contracts with that unionization is to be opposed at all costs, not accepted.
At Amazon, that seems to be the battle-tested strategy.