Breaking News

Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island are filing for federal election

Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island are filing for federal election

Workers at Amazon warehouses in Staten Island, New York, prepare to file for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board on October 25, after receiving signatures on union authorization cards from more than 2,000 workers.

The Amazon Labor Union (ALU) is an independent group of workers attempting to organize workers at four Amazon warehouses in Staten Island. It is led by Christian Smalls, a former Amazon employee who was fired in March after he helped organize a walkout at the company's JFK8 warehouse to protest unsafe working conditions during the pandemic. Amazon has said Smalls was fired for violating security regulations.

"This is a truly remarkable historic moment for all Amazon employees across the country," ALU said in a statement on Thursday. "We are not getting complacent, and we need the support of communities more than ever because our fight is just getting started."

If the union's petition is approved by the NLRB, it would mean a second unionization vote at Amazon Warehouse this year. In April, a union campaign at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, failed dramatically when workers voted against unionization by a two-to-one margin.

The organizing union later opposed the legitimacy of the election, citing concerns about USPS mailboxes installed in the Bessemer Fulfillment Center parking lot during the drive. An assessment by the NLRB in August recommending a new election for Bessemer warehouse workers stated that the installation of mailboxes violated US labor law, although an official decision has yet to be issued by the board.

Nevertheless, the ALU is confident that the Staten Island campaign will be more successful. "Since the campaign has begun, Amazon has wasted no time exposing the association," the ALU said in its statement on Thursday. "We've brought together similar strategies used in Bessemer, Alabama, from signs in bathrooms and breaks, to the same union-busting firms and consultants moving around the workplace and dividing up workers. Amazon Despite all the efforts of the unions, ALU has won the trust of the workers.

Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said in a statement to The Verge that while its employees always have the option of joining a union, the company doesn't think unions are the best answer for its employees. Amazon has devoted significant resources to fighting against organized workers; Over the past few months, the NLRB has found that Amazon threatened and, in some cases, fired workers protesting the handling of COVID-19 cases in warehouses.

“Every day we empower people to find ways to improve their jobs, and when they do we want to make those changes quickly. That type of continuous improvement quickly and deftly with unions in the middle It's hard to do," Nantel said. “The benefits of direct relationships between managers and employees cannot be overstated – these relationships allow the voice of every employee to be heard, not just the voice of a select few.” NanTel said the company has “in recent years I have made a lot of progress in key areas like pay and security in the months to come."

Last year at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, workers at Amazon warehouses across the country raised safety concerns, saying the company did not inform them when workers tested positive for the virus. As part of the campaign, the Amazon labor union is calling for higher wages, safer working conditions, more paid time off options and longer breaks.

No comments