NJ Amazon workers with alleged past mob links will vote on joining the union

A labor group that has previously faced allegations of mob ties has filed for union elections at an Amazon facility in northern New Jersey.

Local 713 of the International Brotherhood of Trade Unions sent a letter requesting union elections to an Amazon delivery station in Bayonne on Friday, according to the National Labor Relations Board. record Show – just weeks after the nearby New York Warehouse became the first person in the country to form a union,

The proposed Bayonne union would cover 200 workers at a fulfillment center on Newark Bay, opening in 2020. NLRB spokeswoman Kayla Bladow told The Post on Monday that at least 30% of eligible employees had signed union cards and the agency is now operating. To conduct union elections.

IBOTU is not affiliated with the Amazon Labor Union, a Upstart group led by current and former Amazon employees That right earlier this month representing 8,300 workers at a Staten Island warehouse just minutes from Bayonne.

Instead, the Long Island-based group seeking to unionize the Bayonne facility describes itself as a labor union representing workers “in industries such as warehousing, supermarkets, building services, bus driving and manufacturing.”

IBOTU has also been intimidated by allegations of shady practices in the past. In 2012, federal prosecutor accused The group’s former secretary treasurer, Robert Scalza, happens to be an ally of the Genovese crime family.

The International Brotherhood of Trade Unions has filed for union elections at an Amazon facility in Bayonne, NJ.
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When Skelza was working for IBOTU, the US attorney claimed in court documents that he had a Genovese capo threatening a rival trade union that was trying to unionize a Long Island chocolate factory, New York Daily News reported,

According to the paper, Scalza pled guilty to extortion charges in 2014. He was reportedly sentenced to six months of detention and was required to leave any union job for at least three years.

He appears to have returned to the union by 2019, earning a whopping $341,000 as a “key employee” that year, according to the group’s tax forms.

Speaking to The Post on Monday, IBOTU attorney Steven Kern said Scalza was no longer with the union.

“I remember the name, I know I must have done something to him in the past 20 years or so,” Kern said of Scalza. “So he did something wrong and he pleaded guilty and he was convicted or whatever and that’s not with the union.”

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The Bayonne, New Jersey effort is not affiliated with the Amazon labor union, which recently won union elections at a Staten Island warehouse.
Reuters

Scalza isn’t the only former union executive to have been accused of corruption.

In 2003, IBOTU’s then-president Peter Hasho was indicted for allegedly playing a role in a conspiracy to steal $350,000 from a union welfare fund in Jersey City through a no-show job, Associated Press reported, However, a jury later cleared Hasho in the case, court papers show.

Prior to serving as union president, Hasho was also arrested and charged in 1975 in a separate alleged union bribery scheme, The New York Times reportedHowever, the outcome of that case is not clear from the available court archives.

According to tax filings, Hasho most recently served as the union’s “press emeritus” and took home compensation of $1 million in 2018 and more than $810,000 in 2019 before dying in September 2021.

By comparison, the president of the National Education Association — the largest association in the United States — took home less than $400,000 in 2018.

Asked if the records of ex-union officials could be intimidating—Amazon would be a union member, Kern said, “I can’t speak to the specific allegations. I’m not even familiar with them.”

Amazon spokesman Paul Flanningen declined to comment.

The Bayonne union filing comes just days before workers at a second Staten Island Amazon warehouse are set to decide whether to join the Amazon labor union.

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The proposed Bayonne union would include 200 employees who help deliver Amazon packages.
SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

Asked whether the Amazon labor union would be able to better represent the Bayonne facility, Kern said, “Anyone who can be a bargaining representative at an Amazon location should do so.”

“We don’t mind it,” he said. “We’re doing what we can. We didn’t take anything from anybody.”

Amazon Labor Union did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

There was news of Bayonne Union’s filing previously reported by journalist Jonah Furman.

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