Amazon Is Bombarding Workers With Union-Busting Messages

Amazon’s largest New York City warehouse could become the company's first union shop in the United States. Workers begin voting in the union election on Friday.
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Amazon Labor Union

Warehouse workers at New York City’s largest Amazon warehouse, known as JFK8, will begin voting Friday on whether to unionize with Amazon Labor Union, an independent union that formed at the warehouse last year. 

If the union wins, JFK8 would become the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the United States. But the odds are stacked greatly against the union. 


Over the past year, Amazon has poured hefty resources into crushing the unionization campaign. It has hired professional union avoidance consultants to lead mandatory meetings, where workers have been told they could lose their current wages if they unionize. It has called the New York Police Department on a union organizer distributing lunch to workers, who was subsequently arrested. It has posted anti-union messages in bathroom stalls and hallways.

In recent days, Amazon’s anti-union campaign has soared to new heights. The company has deployed a staggering amount of anti-union propaganda, bombarding workers with flyers, mailers, Instagram ads, Facebook posts, brochures, videos, phone calls, posters, mandatory meetings, a website, text messages, and notifications on Amazon’s AtoZ app, the platform its workers use for scheduling. The resounding message is “Vote No.”


Labor experts say anti-union messaging and meetings play a significant role in stacking union elections in favor of employers. In recent days, JFK8 employees also told Motherboard they’ve received phone calls from Amazon representatives instructing them on how to participate in the election. In one case, the call originated from an Amazon warehouse near Utica, Michigan. 

Motherboard has compiled a survey of Amazon’s anti-union propaganda used in recent days to crush the union drive. Take a look for yourself. It’s a marathon scroll.


Ahead of the election, Amazon has plastered its JFK8 warehouse with anti-union messages on posters, signs, bulletins, and TV monitors with large QR codes that lead to Amazon’s anti-union website,


Workers are also receiving letters and brochures in the mail at their houses. This literature explains the election process and tells workers to vote “no” in both English and Spanish. “JFK8 is a place of opportunity,” “JFK8 is a tribute to the power of diversity,” one of the letters from JFK8’s station manager reads. “I encourage you to vote NO to the Amazon Labor Union.”


Amazon has spent at least $1,151 on sponsored Facebook and Instagram posts and stories this month that have reached an audience of between 1,000 and 5,000 people, according to Meta’s ad library. The target audience appears to be 25 to 34 year-old-women in New York and New Jersey. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment about these ads, but the Facebook account is associated with an Amazon domain email address and lists as its website.

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The AtoZ app, Amazon’s application for warehouse associates to pick their schedules and view their time punches is also full of anti-union messages.


Since last spring, Amazon has used its direct access to workers’ phone numbers to send anti-union text messages. They’ve continued to utilize this access to workers up until the very end of the campaign. 

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Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama are also currently voting on whether to unionize, after last year’s election results were thrown out due to a ruling that Amazon interfered with the election process. 

Voting for the election at JFK8 in Staten Island will be held March 25, 26, 28, 29, and 30. Workers will be allowed to vote anytime during, before, or after their shifts. Departments will also pause to provide opportunities to workers to vote. (Employers who oppose unions often find it advantageous to encourage as many workers as possible to vote when a union election takes place at their own worksite.) The ballot count will begin on March 30. 

An earlier version of this article stated that Amazon representatives were handing out 'vote no' t-shirts. An Amazon spokesperson said the 'vote no' t-shirts were circulated by Amazon employees who don't support the union, not representatives of the company.