Saturday, May 21, 2022

Amazon workers vote for Staten Island warehouse union

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Shreya Christina
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With a few dozen votes left, workers at an Amazon warehouse in New York City appear to have enough votes to join a union. The final count was not available at the time of writing, but if their lead holds, the JFK8 fulfillment center in Staten Island will join the Amazon Labor Union. The last count of votes had 2,350 yes and 1,812 no votes.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined in January that union efforts at the facility had “showed sufficient interest” to hold elections. The location employs approximately 5,000 people.

The ALU has been trying to unite Amazon workers in New York for nearly two years. In October 2021, it filed an application with the NLRB to hold union elections for two Amazon facilities on Staten Island, but later withdrew the request because it did not have enough signatures. The union rejoined in December, focusing only on the JFK8 warehouse, where several workers’ protests and strikes took place during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Unlike Bessemer’s union efforts, the ALU is not affiliated with any national union or larger organization. It is the personal project of Christian Smalls, who was fired from the Staten Island site after organizing a strike.

The JFK8 election is the first to approve a union for Amazon warehouse workers in the US. After another union action at Amazon’s BHM1 facility in Bessemer, Alabama, the NLRB ordered an election held last year to be rerun after it was found that Amazon had meddled in the first election. On Thursday, the votes in Bessemer appeared to be against the union, with 933 against and 875 in favour, but as the final result is so close, there will be a hearing on 416 contested ballots. The hearing is expected to take place in the coming weeks and both the union and Amazon will have the opportunity to file any objections to the election in the coming month.

To develop…

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