NYC Amazon workers begin voting in historic union election


Amazon workers on the company’s JFK8 Staten Island warehouse began casting ballots on Friday on whether or not to kind a union as labor organizers look to New York for the first-ever union victory in the retail large’s 28-year historical past.

As the second-largest US personal employer, Amazon has lengthy been a spotlight for labor advocates who hope {that a} single union victory will spark organizing efforts throughout the nation.

Geebah Sando, a bundle sorter who has labored at JFK8 for greater than two years, mentioned he’s voting in favor of the union.

He hopes a unionized workplace would imply greater wages and extra advantages, together with longer breaks and extra paid break day.

The push to arrange is spearheaded by a bunch of workers generally known as the Amazon Labor Union (ALU). In-person voting at JFK8 will final till March 30, with votes set to be counted on March 31.

“We look forward to having our employees’ voices heard. Our focus remains on working directly with our team to continue making Amazon a great place to work,” mentioned Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel.

In-person voting at JFK8 will final till March 30. Votes are set to be counted on March 31.

Keisha Renaud, 50, an affiliate from East Orange, NJ, mentioned she would go away the power if it unionizes.

“The energy they are taking to start a union, why didn’t they take that energy to start a team to talk to the managers. I think Amazon would listen,” she mentioned, sporting a pink shirt that claims “Vote No.”

Distrust of unions is widespread amongst workers, fanned by Amazon itself, which has warned in conferences employees have been obliged to attend that labor teams may mandate strikes or shrink pay, one thing organizers have disputed.


Some workers mentioned they’re open to a unionized workplace however have issues about ALU’s potential to advocate on their behalf.

“The union has no experience at all,” mentioned Claudia Rodriguez, 58, who has labored at JFK8 for 4 years. Rodriguez, whereas strolling as much as the voting tent, mentioned she was nonetheless on the fence about whether or not to again the union.

There was a protracted line to cast a vote, however Chris Smalls, president of ALU and a former worker on the Staten Island warehouse, mentioned he was inspired by the turnout.

“Whichever way they vote, I’m happy to see it happen,” Smalls mentioned. Workers on the company’s different warehouse in Staten Island, LDJ5, will even vote in individual on whether or not to unionize beginning on April 25, in keeping with a National Labor Relations Board election discover.

A rerun of final year’s failed union organizing marketing campaign at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., can be scheduled to conclude on Friday. Votes shall be counted beginning on Monday for this second carefully watched election.

Amazon is the second-largest US personal employer.
“We look forward to having our employees’ voices heard,” an Amazon consultant mentioned.

The NLRB discovered that Amazon improperly interfered in the unique contest, when the company received by a two-to-one margin.

The American labor motion has gained momentum over the previous year, motivated by the high-profile Alabama marketing campaign, ongoing pandemic issues and strikes.