Glenn Spencer Glenn Spencer
Senior Vice President, Employment Policy Division, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


July 19, 2023


In 2022, the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) won an election to represent an Amazon facility in Staten Island, NY. While the circumstances surrounding that election, and whether the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) properly conducted the vote, are still being litigated, the ALU itself has now run into some internal controversy. 

According to a report in BNA (subscription required), a group of workers represented by the ALU has filed a lawsuit to stop alleged anti-democratic activities by the management of the union. Specifically, the lawsuit states that the union president and his leadership team have unilaterally changed the union’s constitution to allow themselves to stay in power, stacked the leadership team with their allies and threatened reprisals against dissenters. 

The lawsuit further states that the leadership team has “created such internal union disarray that no legitimate body is available to conduct fair and democratic elections in the union; all as part of a scheme to suppress democratic dissent, and democratic practices among members of this fledgling labor union.” It seeks injunctive relief directed towards requiring the union to hold democratic officer elections. Part of the dissatisfaction with ALU leadership, according to press reports, is that the union lost two elections in the wake of the Staten Island vote. 

The BNA story states that the lawsuit is “raising questions about the group’s ability to achieve a first contract with the e-commerce giant.” Whether or not that’s accurate, it does not appear that much progress has been made on a contract, which is hardly surprising since the election results are still in dispute

There’s no word on how long it will take to resolve the litigation. But it will be interesting to see what impact it may have on the ALU’s future.   

About the authors

Glenn Spencer

Glenn Spencer

Spencer oversees the Chamber’s work on immigration, retirement security, traditional labor relations, human trafficking, wage hour and worker safety issues, EEOC matters, and state labor and employment law.

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