Amazon’s NYC warehouse set to become first in US to unionize

Amazon staff at a warehouse within the New York Metropolis borough of Staten Island are set to grow to be the corporate’s first unionized US staff after profitable a historic vote on Friday. 

Shortly earlier than tallying ended on Friday, the vote stood at 2,300 votes in favor of the union and 1,855 towards — in what gave the impression to be an insurmountable lead.

Nationwide Labor Relations Board officers nonetheless had a number of dozen votes left to rely. Amazon didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the end result.

The Amazon Labor Union’s victory got here regardless of the group not being affiliated with any bigger union coalition such because the Retail, Wholesale and Division Retailer Union, which is supporting Amazon union efforts in Bessemer, Alabama.

As an alternative, the organizing group has remained completely unbiased because it was fashioned final yr. 

About 7,500 individuals work on the Staten Island warehouse, which is known as JFK8.

Amazon JFK8
Amazon’s JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island employs about 7,500 individuals.
Bloomberg by way of Getty Pictures

The union’s victory comes after years of knock-down, drag-out combating between Amazon and activists. 

In Staten Island, Amazon held obligatory anti-union conferences with staff at JFK8 — and blanketed them with letters and on-line adverts urging them to vote towards the trouble. 

“When you recognize, you vote NO,” considered one of Amazon’s Fb and Instagram adverts learn. 

Jeff Bezos
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — right here along with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez — is price an estimated $191 billion.

Amazon additionally employed International Technique Group, a Democratic party-aligned public relations agency with shut ties to disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to blast staff with anti-union messages, CNBC reported on Thursday. 

And when the Amazon Labor Union’s chief, ex-Amazon worker Chris Smalls, got here to a JFK8 break room in February to provide meals to staff, Amazon known as the cops and had him arrested for trespassing, Reuters reported

One other Amazon warehouse on Staten Island, LDJ5, is about to carry a union election beginning on April 25. 

Amazon union
Amazon blanketed staff with anti-union messages.
Pacific Press/LightRocket by way of Getty Pictures

On Thursday, labor officers stated {that a} separate union vote at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama would seemingly be determined within the coming days by 416 challenged ballots. After the preliminary rely was completed on Thursday, 993 votes had been forged towards union illustration and 875 for unionization.

Because the margin that the Bessemer union misplaced by will not be better than the variety of challenged ballots, the ultimate resolution is about to hinge on the challenged ballots. 

This yr’s Bessemer election seems to be a a lot nearer battle than final yr’s vote, wherein labor activists misplaced by a two-to-one margin. Federal labor officers ordered a brand new election after they discovered that Amazon had interfered with the election course of.

A separate union election at Amazon's Bessemer, Alabama warehouse is set to come down to 416 challenged ballots.
A separate union election at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama warehouse is about to come back right down to 416 challenged ballots.
AFP by way of Getty Pictures

Amazon will not be the one main US company to face a labor push in current months. Greater than 160 Starbucks places throughout the nation have filed petitions to arrange, based on NLRB knowledge — and 9 shops have efficiently voted to unionize since December. 

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