Amazon managers were captured on video shouting at workers and warning them against signing union cards at an Albany, NY, warehouse, in a potential violation of labor law.
Workers at the ALB1 warehouse filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday, less than a day after the tense confrontation in which one manager warned a worker to “watch what you’re signing” while another urged union organizers to “stay out of our way” before slamming a table with her hand. “I’m up to here with their bullshit,” she said.
Union organizers at the warehouse had set up at a table outside the facility during the overnight shift on Monday, handing out flyers to workers and collecting signatures for a final round of union cards to submit to the NLRB. They were joined by Amazon Labor Union leaders visiting from Staten Island, who helped canvas workers as they came and went. The tabling, which was monitored by security guards, proceeded without incident for several hours until an Amazon manager sought to prevent a worker from signing a union card.
Gerald Bryson, an ALU organizer from Staten Island, was speaking with a worker named Cornelius. Apparently concerned that the worker would sign a union card, a manager yelled out from her car window: “Cornelius, watch what you’re signing.”
Bryson approached the manager’s car seeking to engage with her, which led the manager to escalate the situation.
According to Heather Goodall, the lead union organizer at ALB1, the manager parked her car and began to confront Bryson. Goodall sought to intervene, having experienced tension with the manager on earlier occasions. The manager accused the union of lying to workers; when Goodall asked for examples, the manager cited the ALU’s promise to fight for better wages and working conditions.
“That’s not a lie, that’s the point of the union,” Goodall later reflected in a conversation with More Perfect Union.
The confrontation grew more heated, and in footage obtained by More Perfect Union, the manager admits to discouraging Cornelius from signing a union card, then seeks help from another anti-union manager, who identifies herself as DeAnna.
Together, the two managers shouted criticisms about the union allegedly harassing them on their break, though by this point the ALU members were seated far away and were no longer engaging with them.
“If people want to sign the stupid paper, let them sign the stupid paper,” DeAnna said. “Sorry not sorry. I’m up to here with their bullshit.”
Later, after noticing that she’s being recorded, DeAnna falsely accused Goodall of illegally filming her (New York is a one-party consent state). She then repeatedly insisted that she was being harassed by the union organizers sitting silently 20 feet away. Together, the two managers laughed and joked as they continued to mock the union members, who delivered hundreds of signed cards to the NLRB the next afternoon.