Amazon Hired an Influential Democratic Pollster to Fight Staten Island Union Drive – NBC New York

  • Amazon employed International Technique Group, an influential Democratic polling agency, to struggle unionizing efforts on New York’s Staten Island, CNBC has realized.
  • The agency created anti-union supplies on behalf of Amazon to discourage staff at a number of Staten Island warehouses from unionizing.
  • The vote at Amazon’s largest achievement middle on whether or not to be a part of a union wrapped up on Wednesday.

Amazon tapped an influential consulting and polling agency with shut ties to Democratic political teams to assist the corporate thwart a important unionization effort at a Staten Island, New York, warehouse, CNBC has realized.

International Technique Group, which served as a polling accomplice for a pro-Biden tremendous PAC forward of the 2020 election, has been working for Amazon since not less than late final 12 months to produce anti-union supplies, in accordance to paperwork considered by CNBC.

Workers on the achievement middle, often called JFK8, began casting their ballots Friday. The vote on whether or not to unionize wrapped up Wednesday, and the Nationwide Labor Relations Board is within the technique of counting votes.

Amazon has fought aggressively to beat again unionization efforts on Staten Island, simply because it has in Bessemer, Alabama, the place staff simply concluded a second union vote after the preliminary one failed final 12 months. Warehouse staffers throughout the corporate amped up their activism in the course of the Covid pandemic, demanding safer working situations and higher pay.

At JFK8, Amazon’s largest warehouse in New York Metropolis, and three different amenities on Staten Island, GSG has put collectively movies that includes Amazon managers and executives, and has distributed flyers to staffers. Amazon has delivered anti-union shows that staff have been required to sit via at conferences, which had been typically attended by representatives from GSG, in accordance to an individual accustomed to the matter.

GSG workers have additionally been monitoring the social media accounts of Amazon Labor Union organizers, mentioned the particular person, who requested not to be named due to confidentiality. ALU is a fledgling group, made up of present and former firm workers, that is looking for to signify JFK8 staff.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to touch upon GSG’s work in Staten Island. Representatives from GSG did not reply to a request for remark.

An anti-union web site

The movies and printed supplies distributed by GSG try to discourage workers from voting to be a part of a union. They use phrases like “One team, working together” and “Unpack it: Get the facts about unions,” a slogan repeated on Amazon’s anti-union web site – unpackjfk8.com. A number of the supplies tout the various advantages that Amazon already offers, together with well being care, trip time and alternatives for bettering job expertise.

GSG workers in New York, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., have been concerned with the challenge, the paperwork present. Barbara Russell, Amazon’s world director of worker relations, helps to oversee the work with GSG.

Turning to such a outstanding consulting agency underscores Amazon’s stage of concern in regards to the union vote and the potential precedent it might set. GSG began in 1995 as a boutique polling agency, and has since expanded to present analysis, public relations and consulting providers. Alongside the way in which, it is amassed a high-profile roster of political and company purchasers, including Google and Facebook.

Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Photographs

Staff and supporters maintain indicators after submitting a petition requesting an election to type a union outdoors the Nationwide Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional workplace within the Brooklyn Borough of New York, on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

Working for Amazon in an anti-union capability might pose an issue for GSG due to its shut affiliation with the Democratic Get together, which has historically been an advocate for labor unions. The agency even performed polling for New York Lawyer Basic Letitia James, an Amazon critic who accused the corporate of unlawfully firing Christian Smalls, now the president of ALU. GSG additionally provided polling services for a department of the Service Workers Worldwide Union, one of many largest labor unions within the nation.

In accordance to GSG’s web site, the agency “led polling for dozens of winning campaigns and political organizations in 2018 and 2020 to secure today’s Democratic majority in the US House of Representatives and US Senate.” It was the polling accomplice for Priorities USA, a brilliant PAC that backed President Joe Biden, and has labored for Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Joe Manchin and Ed Markey, its website says.

GSG has lengthy been a widely known title on Capitol Hill, and a decade in the past employed Jen Psaki, who’s now Biden’s White Home press secretary.

Amazon, in the meantime, has been a serious goal for high Democrats like Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who’ve repeatedly slammed Amazon for skirting taxes and for allegedly partaking in anti-competitive conduct.

It is not the primary time Amazon has introduced in a 3rd celebration to fend off unionization efforts. The corporate hired not less than three anti-union consultants in the course of the first Bessemer election final 12 months, and beforehand labored with an anti-union guide that had been utilized by Trump Worldwide Lodges.

WATCH: Amazon secures enough votes to defeat the unionization drive at an Alabama warehouse

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