October 7, 2022

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Biden GSG poll 'deeply sorry' for anti-union action at Amazon as labor groups abandon it

Biden GSG poll ‘deeply sorry’ for anti-union action at Amazon as labor groups abandon it

Amazon workers arrive with papers for union action at the NLRB office in Brooklyn, New York, October 25, 2021.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Major labor groups and political action committees are disassociating themselves from major Democratic opinion polls after the company’s work was exposed AmazonAnti-labor efforts at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York.

in late March, CNBC reported that Amazon has hired the Global Strategy Group, an influential advisory and intelligence firm, to assist with campaign materials at several Staten Island facilities, including JFK8, a site A successful union campaign advance this month.

GSG is well known on Capitol Hill and in Democratic political circles. She served as a spotting partner for the pro-Biden PAC prior to the 2020 election and maintains a high-profile list of political and corporate clients, Including The Google And Facebook.

“This is really disgusting,” Randy Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, wrote in a tweet after the CNBC story was published.

In a sign of solidarity with the Amazon Workers Union and Strengthening the labor movement More broadly, AFT and many other former GSG customers are distancing themselves from the company and vowing not to do business with it in the future. All this followed a campaign that ultimately did not bear fruit.

On April 1, a JFK election result 8 It showed that, by a large margin, employees voted to join unions, and the first time this had happened at Amazon’s US facility was a week later, Amazon Objections made With the National Labor Relations Board, arguing that the electoral process was tainted.

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President Joe Biden, who promised to be “the most loyal president of unions,” express his support to the unions’ efforts at Amazon on April 6, remarking, “By the way, Amazon, here we go. Watch.”

GSG initially tried to keep its business with Amazon quiet. But in the face of negative feedback from customers, the company is now apologizing for working on the campaign.

“While there have been factual errors in recent reports about our work at Amazon, being involved in any way was a mistake, we have resigned from this business, and are deeply sorry,” said Tanya Meek, Partner and Managing Director at GSG.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

momentum movement

Among the groups severing ties with the GSG is the Service Personnel International, one of the country’s largest trade unions. SEIU has spent $1.74 million on GSG services since 2005, according to Department of Labor records. Most recently, last year, the SEIU paid GSG $66,500 for voter voting services, filings show.

A SEIU spokesperson told CNBC that the union’s national office will not hire GSG in the future.

Weingarten said that AFT, which has not worked with GSG for several years, will not return as a customer. Department of Labor records show that AFT paid GSG about $160,000 for polling and consulting services between 2013 and 2014.

“There are many consultants who have consistently supported the rights of those who work hard for a living – people like teachers, bus drivers, nurses and Amazon workers – to have a voice on the job,” Weingarten said in a statement. “We will work with those people, who have not been reminded that working for working people is good for business.”

Unions aren’t the only dissatisfied customers. Conservation Voters, a policy action committee and environmental advocacy group, said it was “re-assessing how this news could affect future plans.” The Nevada and Iowa Democrats, where several Democratic candidates have nominated the GSG in recent years, said they would not turn to the GSG in the future.

“We stand proudly with our unions and workers in our nation, and were outraged when we learned of the GSG’s involvement in the union busting effort,” a representative of the Nevada Democratic Party said in an email. “As a result of what we have found out, we will not work with them in the future.”

CNBC has contacted about a dozen politicians and PACs listed as GSG agents on files with the Federal Election Commission. None of the elected officials commented.

Of the labor groups contacted by CNBC, only one, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Carpenters, said it would continue to work with the GSG.

GSG started in 1995 as a small polling firm and has since expanded to provide research, public relations and consulting services. According to its website, the company “led polls of dozens of winning political campaigns and organizations in 2018 and 2020 to secure today’s Democratic majorities in the US House and Senate.”

GSG was the exploratory partner of Priorities USA, a super PAC that backed Biden, and worked with Democratic advisers Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; Joe Manchin from West Virginia and Ed Markey from Massachusetts. A decade ago, he Jin Psaki workswho is now the White House press secretary to Biden.

Amazon’s techniques for busting unions on Staten Island included wallpapering “Voice No” banners, creating an anti-union website – unpackjfk8.com – and showing presentations workers were asked to sit through at meetings.

Last week, the Amazon Workers Union Foot Unfair business practice charges with the NLRB, accusing Amazon and GSG of interfering with employees’ right to regulate.

Amazon has struggled hard to beat the unions elsewhere as well, most notably in Bessemer, Alabama, Workers have just finished a second union vote after the first vote failed last year. last election It was closer, and so many votes are contested that the outcome is still in doubt.

Warehouse employees on Amazon ramped up their activity during covid-19 pandemicThey demand safer working conditions and better wages. Senior Democrats rallied across the country to support their cause.

“Great job by the led worker Tweet embed On Staten Island, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, tweeted after the votes were counted. “Congratulations on the historic victory! We wish you well as you move forward with the contract.”

Watch: Bezos addresses the Amazon Consortium vote with a letter to shareholders