A bunch of 84 drivers in Palmdale, California scored an enormous win not too long ago after they voted to unionize with the Teamsters. However the true battle lies forward. Vox experiences that the entire state of affairs is rather more difficult than a easy vote.
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The primary drawback lies with the standing of the employees themselves. Anybody would assume that the 84 individuals work for Amazon, but the fact is that they work “for” Amazon. Sound complicated? That’s as a result of it’s.
Like many different corporations, Amazon has realized that it’s cheaper to rent contract staff than it’s to carry on full-time workers. Consequently, many Amazon drivers are literally working for different corporations which might be contracting their labor out to Amazon. On this case, the drivers who unionized are literally employed by an organization known as Battle Examined Methods (BTS), a last-mile logistics firm. BTS acknowledged the union after the drivers negotiated the union contract with the Teamsters.
Issues get murkier with Amazon’s claims to Vox over its contact with BTS:
Amazon has instructed Vox that its contract with BTS, which solely delivers for Amazon, was terminated “effectively earlier than” staff notified the tech large Monday, however that the contract hasn’t expired but.
However the Teamsters declare that the drivers are nonetheless contracted to work for Amazon, and that their contract goes by means of October, which is when it could routinely renew.
Labor legal guidelines make all of this extra complicated, since these legal guidelines had been written earlier than the huge uptake of contract hires. Consequently, the court docket should decide the standing of the staff: in the event that they’re collectively employed by Amazon and BTS, for instance, or in the event that they’re solely employed by BTS.
For Amazon to be a joint employer, they’d should have a controlling say in what the drivers do, as a legislation professor defined to Vox.
“If Amazon is ready to get away with ignoring the employees’ choice and hiding behind the subcontractor relationships, then I’m afraid we’ll have yet one more story of the failure of American labor legislation. If this results in a recognition that these drivers are Amazon workers, joint workers, then this could possibly be massively vital.”
Different components at play are California’s legal guidelines regarding unbiased contractors or workers for the corporate in addition to the elephant within the room: whether or not Amazon purposely terminated its contract with BTS as a result of the corporate knew that the drivers had been unionizing. Whether or not this battle will get higher or worse for the drivers, the importance of merely unionizing as an Amazon driver is likely to be sufficient of a win for some.