New York workers who are seeking good jobs at competitive wages might think that large, prominent companies coming to the city is a good thing. Often, it is. However, before becoming too excited over the prospect of a healthy job market and the benefits it brings, unions are apt to express concern over how these companies conduct themselves. It is frequently on the backs of workers with controversy in its wake. For workers, having the backing of a labor union is a critical aspect of ensuring these companies do not attempt to take advantage of them, using their enthusiasm against them. Union representation is not the only thing necessary to help workers. The support of a law firm that specializes in union matters is also key.
Amazon has made headlines with its decision to open a new tech center in Long Island City. However, given its reputation with its employees, this has led to concern from unions representing a large swath of workers in the city. The company is saying that up to 25,000 jobs will be open. According to the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), the company’s past stance in hindering unions and how it has allegedly mistreated employees in other locations is worrisome. The president of the union says that the company pressured workers not to join or form a union. It wants state representatives to make sure this will not continue once the company sets up shop in New York.
A report indicates that conditions at Amazon facilities in other locations that were problematic. An example is when the relatively new acquisition for Amazon – Whole Foods – had its workers attempt to form a union and the company sent a video for managers to discourage the workers’ desire for collective bargaining along with signals to look for as to when workers were seeking to organize. Some city and state politicians have been for the move. Others have not and they are also thinking about workers and their treatment.
When there is an existing labor union and workers can take part in collective bargaining to make certain their treatment is aboveboard and fair, it is imperative that the union have legal advice. It is even more important for workers and unions who are dealing with companies that actively discourage joining a labor union or try to prevent union activities to have legal assistance. A law firm that has experience in all areas of helping unions and union members should be called for advice.