Amazon workers in New York warehouse vote to form unions According to Reuters


© Reuters. Mat Cusick, Head of Communications for the Amazon Labor Federation, volunteer Drsana Hughes, Brett Daniels, Organizational Director for the Amazon Labor Federation’s Workers Committee and Angelika Maldonado, Chair of the Union Workers Committee Amazon Labor.


By Doyinsola Oladipo and Nivedita Balu

(Reuters) -Workers at an Inc (NASDAQ:) warehouse in New York City voted to form the first union at the United States’ second-largest privately owned company, a victory. for new independent unions contributes to the recent success of labor activists pushing into new industries.

Employees at the online retailer’s fulfillment center in Staten Island County, known as JFK8, won a majority by voting between 2,654 and 2,131 in favor of the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), or approximately 55% support, according to figures published Friday by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The vote represents a victory for US organized labor and an important milestone for labor advocates, who for years have viewed Amazon’s labor practices as a threat. threat to workers.

“We are disappointed with the outcome of the Staten Island election because we believe having a direct relationship with the company is in the best interest of our employees,” the company said in a statement.

It added that it was assessing options including filing a counterclaim based on the NLRB’s inappropriate and undue influence.

The NLRB said Amazon has until April 8 to file any objections to the election.

Assuming the vote removes all objections and the union is certified by the NLRB to represent employees, union negotiators will still have to negotiate with Amazon to meet their expectations of compensation and working conditions. better job.

Geebah Sando, a package sorter who voted for the union after more than two years at JFK8, said he was delighted.

“With unions together, we come together,” says Sando, adding that labor groups can help workers advocate for pay, breaks and time off. better permission.

Union organizer Christian Smalls, dressed in all red Amazon Union uniform, raised his hand in victory after his victory. ALU members cheered as Smalls and other officials left the NLRB office after the count was done.

Many cast doubt on Smalls when he announced plans to merge JFK8 last year, but he pitched a tent outside a warehouse while supporters in the building touted how a union could demand higher wages. , safer conditions and job security.

Dan Cornfield, a labor expert and professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University, called the vote an “important victory for workers who are practicing homegrown unions”. Cornfield said he hopes the win will spur a fast-growing labor activism movement across the entire US retail sector.

“It’s almost like David and Goliath’s kind of victory,” Cornfield said. “There’s already a wave (of activism) happening, and this should encourage more.”

By contrast, at one Amazon facility in Alabama, the majority of workers refused to co-operate, although the outcome was not final.

The NLRB said the Alabama contest could count on the 416 challenged ballots to be heard in the coming weeks, enough to change the outcome. The situation is a far cry from last year when workers sided with Amazon by a margin of more than 2 to 1 over co-optation.

The NLRB said the number of employees eligible to participate in the Staten Island vote was 8,325.

Shares of Amazon were up less than 1% in afternoon trading to $3,263.28.

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