Warehouse workers in New York win vote on unionization : NPR

Staff at Amazon’s warehouse on Staten Island in New York will vote on whether or not to unionize, changing into the second U.S. warehouse to get such an election.

Taylor Hanes/NPR


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Taylor Hanes/NPR


Staff at Amazon’s warehouse on Staten Island in New York will vote on whether or not to unionize, changing into the second U.S. warehouse to get such an election.

Taylor Hanes/NPR

Amazon staff in New York will vote on unionization subsequent month, as the corporate now faces two doubtlessly groundbreaking union elections without delay.

Federal labor officers on Thursday formally set a union vote for hundreds of Amazon staff at a Staten Island warehouse. The in-person election is ready to run between March 25-30. In the meantime, staff at one other warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., are voting by mail for the second time on whether or not to unionize. The outcomes of the 2 election are more likely to come inside days of one another.

Labor organizers are pushing to create the primary unionized Amazon warehouses within the U.S., the place the corporate is now the second-largest non-public employer with 1.1 million staff.

The Staten Island union election is a product of a fledgling labor group unaffiliated with any nationwide union. Organizers, calling themselves the Amazon Labor Union, are present and former Amazon staff. Their chief Chris Smalls had staged a walkout over working circumstances on the Staten Island warehouse early within the pandemic and was fired the identical day.

The marketing campaign is pursuing union elections at a complete of 4 Amazon warehouses on Staten Island, the place staff pack and course of orders from consumers within the huge New York market. Organizers say they hope to win longer breaks, higher medical and different depart choices, and better wages.

Amazon had challenged numerous components of the union-election petition. The corporate has argued unions should not crucial, touting its well being, training and different advantages, in addition to its pay beginning at $15 an hour and averaging $18 an hour.

For the reason that walkout in March 2020, Staten Island warehouse staff have filed a number of labor complaints in opposition to Amazon, alleging interference with organizing efforts. The Nationwide Labor Relations Board later accused Amazon of illegally threatening, interrogating and surveilling the employees, which the corporate denies.

The labor board authorized a union election for Staten Island warehouse staff after a listening to with Amazon and organizers.

The New York warehouse could be the second Amazon facility to get a union election in two years. Final spring, Amazon warehouse staff in Bessemer, Ala., voted in opposition to unionizing in a stinging landslide defeat for labor. However later, federal labor officers scrapped that election and ordered a re-do, ruling that Amazon’s anti-union marketing campaign had tainted the outcomes.

In early February, ballots went out once more to six,100 Amazon staff on the Bessemer warehouse. Staff are voting by mail; the hand-tally of ballots is ready to start on March 28 and anticipated to final a number of days.

Editor’s observe: Amazon is amongst NPR’s current monetary supporters and likewise distributes sure NPR content material.

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