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NJ Amazon workers to vote on joining union with alleged past mob links

A labor group that has beforehand confronted accusations of mob ties has filed for a union election at an Amazon facility in northern New Jersey.

Native 713 of the Worldwide Brotherhood of Commerce Unions despatched a letter requesting a union election at an Amazon supply station in Bayonne on Friday, Nationwide Labor Relations Board records present — simply weeks after a close-by New York warehouse grew to become the primary within the nation to unionize. 

The proposed Bayonne union would cowl 200 employees at a achievement middle on the Newark Bay that opened in 2020. NLRB spokesperson Kayla Blado instructed The Publish on Monday that not less than 30% of the eligible staff had signed union playing cards and that the company is now working to schedule a union election.

The IBOTU shouldn’t be affiliated with the Amazon Labor Union, an upstart group led by present and former Amazon staff that earlier this month gained the suitable to signify 8,300 employees at a Staten Island warehouse simply minutes away from Bayonne. 

As a substitute, the Lengthy Island-based group searching for to unionize the Bayonne facility describes itself as a labor union representing employees “throughout industries akin to warehousing, grocery store, constructing companies, bus driving, and manufacturing.” 

IBOTU has additionally beforehand been dogged by allegations of shady practices. In 2012, federal prosecutors accused the group’s former secretary treasurer, Robert Scalza, of being an affiliate of the Genovese crime household. 

The Worldwide Brotherhood of Commerce Unions has filed for a union election at an Amazon facility in Bayonne, NJ.
native 713

Whereas Scalza was working for IBOTU, US Attorneys claimed in courtroom docs that he had a Genovese capo threatened a rival commerce union that was making an attempt to unionize a Lengthy Island chocolate manufacturing unit, the New York Daily News reported.

Scalza pleaded responsible to extortion conspiracy prices in 2014, in keeping with the paper. He was reportedly sentenced to 6 months home arrest and required to surrender any union job for not less than three years.

He seems to have returned to the union by 2019, incomes a whopping $341,000 as a “key worker” that yr, in keeping with the group’s tax kinds.

Chatting with The Publish on Monday, IBOTU legal professional Steven Kern stated Scalza was now not with the union.

“I keep in mind the title, I do know I have to’ve accomplished one thing with him previously, 20 years or so in the past” Kern stated of Scalza. “So he did one thing incorrect and he pled responsible and was convicted or no matter and he’s not with the union.” 

Amazon union
The Bayonne, New Jersey effort shouldn’t be affiliated with the Amazon Labor Union, which not too long ago gained a union election at a warehouse in Staten Island.
REUTERS

Scalza isn’t the one former union government who’s been accused of corruption.

In 2003, IBOTU’s then-president Peter Hasho was indicted for allegedly enjoying a job in a plot to steal $350,000 from a union welfare fund in Jersey Metropolis by means of a no-show job, the Associated Press reported. Nevertheless, a jury later cleared Hasho within the case, courtroom papers present.

Earlier than he labored because the union’s president, Hasho was additionally arrested and arraigned in 1975 in a separate alleged union bribery scheme, the New York Times reported, though the end result from that case is unclear from accessible courtroom archives.

In keeping with tax filings, Hasho not too long ago served because the union’s “Pres Emeritus” and took house compensation value greater than $1 million in 2018 and $810,000 in 2019 earlier than he died in September 2021. 

By comparability, the president of the Nationwide Schooling Affiliation — the biggest union in america — took house lower than $400,000 in 2018. 

Requested whether or not ex-union officers’ information may scare off would-be Amazon union members, Kern stated, “I can’t communicate to particular accusations. I’m not even accustomed to them.” 

Amazon spokesperson Paul Flaningan declined to remark. 

The Bayonne union submitting comes simply days earlier than employees at a second Staten Island Amazon warehouse are set to resolve whether or not to affix the Amazon Labor Union. 

Amazon
The proposed Bayonne union would cowl 200 staff that assist ship Amazon packages.
SOPA Pictures/LightRocket through Getty Pictures

Requested if the Amazon Labor Union would have the ability to higher signify the Bayonne facility, Kern stated, “Anyone that may develop into the bargaining consultant at an Amazon location ought to so.” 

“We don’t really feel dangerous about it,” he added. “We’re doing what we will do. We didn’t take something away from anyone.” 

The Amazon Labor Union didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Information of the Bayonne union submitting was earlier reported by journalist Jonah Furman. 

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