amazon-fullA small group of workers at a fulfillment center in Delaware overwhelmingly rejected an effort to unionize under the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in a vote held this evening. The vote was 21 to 6. A majority was needed to accept the union.

While representing a small number of workers at the 1,500-person facility, the vote was symbolic since it would have represented the first union to operate at the Seattle-based company. officials did not miss a step in using the vote to tout its progressive work environment, issuing this statement:

“With today’s vote against third-party representation, our employees have made it clear that they prefer a direct connection with Amazon. This direct connection is the most effective way to understand and respond to the wants and needs of our employees. Amazon’s culture and business model are based on rapid innovation, flexibility and open lines of direct communication between managers and associates. In addition to competitive wages with comprehensive benefits, bonuses, 401(k) with 50% match, innovative programs like Career Choice and stock awards, we provide a network of support to ensure our employees succeed. We will continue our strong focus on creating a great work environment that supports all of our employees.” has been working hard to burnish its image, especially at its large fulfillment centers around the world. After a BBC report last fall alleged that conditions at those facilities could lead to mental illness, shot back by issuing a statement saying that safety is the company’s “number one priority.”

Paul Carr, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, tells BloombergBusinessWeek that the tactics used by to defeat the union push were very effective. “Under the intense pressures these workers faced on the shop floor, it was an uphill battle all the way,” Carr said.

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  • Bonnie Cannan

    Read the article in the most recent edition of the Nation to see how workers at Amazon are really treated. Amazon claims safety as a high priority but follows workers using cameras to determine and direct speed to do the job as a high priority. The conditions depicted in this article leave no doubt about the need for a union. Anyone in this country who doesn’t see the need for unionization and giving an equal voice to workers is in complete denial of what is really happening. It doesn’t stop here–MIT researchers indicated that in the near future 60% of jobs will be done by robots including many professional disciplines who will in the future be viewed as “add on,s” to the primary direction and desires of the smarter robots. Remember what Steve Jobs said when President Obama asked him why he did,t have more factories with U.S workers, he responded by saying-“We need workers who will work fast and cheap” It’s always profits before humanity. Which do you choose?

    • Let’s Talk

      Thanks for the false dichotomy. Asking a question that’s not a question is a great way to start a conversation.

  • 500_lb_Gorrila

    Through my experience, I imagine that the six folks who voted ‘yes’ are also the biggest headaches for their coworkers and the management.

  • Slaggggg

    “on the shop floor” … blech. High tech meats union thugs.

    • balls187

      cool story bro

  • Jim

    So many companies promote so called “safety first” but when you get in there and really see what is going on they are severely lacking. Look at the airlines for instance. SWA’s signature statement to employees is “safety first”, yet they have increased bag loads, freight, reduced staffing and a lot of employees are getting hurt. Planes don’t push on time so this affects the customer. After reading a few articles of how Amazon treats their employees I closed my account with them. The executives of these companies don’t care about your health on bit. It is all about $$$. Of course you all probably know this by now. By the way, America is in need of jobs and I wonder how much merchandise Amazon sells is made in US.

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