Logistics hub in New York: the first Amazon union is founded

Status: 04/01/2022 20:56

For the first time, a US location of mail-order company Amazon gains union representation. Most employees at a New York logistics center were in favor of creating an interest group.

After years of lockout by their employer, employees at US online mail-order company Amazon will soon be represented by a union for the first time. In a vote at an Amazon warehouse in New York’s Staten Island district, a majority of workers voted to establish the first union representation at the American company. According to counts, 2,654 voted in favor; 2,131 employees voted against.

Before the vote, a victory for the workers’ representatives was not expected, as no established union was behind the project. One of the main culprits was a laid-off former Amazon employee, Christian Smalls. He feels great to be on the winning lane against a billion-dollar company, he said after the count.

About 57 percent of the more than 8,300 employees on the voting list cast their ballots. The result will be verified by the federal labor authorities once the objection period expires on April 8.

No union at Amazon warehouse in Alabama

Amazon has opposed union formation for years. To date, no US Amazon subsidiary has managed to form a union. In April of last year, a first such attempt at a logistics center in Bessemer, Alabama failed. A large majority of employees voted against employee representation.

However, in November, the NLRB upheld an appeal from a union that had accused Amazon of undue influence and rule violations. Therefore, the result of the vote was annulled and a new vote was scheduled.

The first Amazon union was formed

Topics of the day 21:50 April 1, 2022

“We will continue fighting”

According to preliminary results, a new vote was taken in Bessemer against the creation of a union. However, with 993 to 875 votes, the result was significantly closer than last year. The workers had started a movement, union leader Stuart Appelbaum said. “This is just the beginning and we will continue to fight.” Invalid votes must be appealed, which could still reverse the result.

Amazon is the second largest private employer in the US and is repeatedly criticized for its working conditions. Unions and politicians criticize that the employees of the group founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 are exposed to high work pressure and constant monitoring. In Germany, the ver.di union has been fighting for years to ensure that Amazon employees get a collective agreement and are paid according to the collective agreement for retail and mail order.

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