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Amazon workers on Staten Island unionize

New York Teacher

Workers voted to unionize at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island, a historic decision that marks the first successful U.S. effort to organize at the e-commerce giant.

The final tally was 2,654, or 55.4%, for the union, and 2,131, or 44.5%, against. Roughly 8,000 workers were eligible to vote.

Amazon, the country’s second-largest private employer, has long fended off unionization attempts. But the Amazon Labor Union, a small, independent group led by Staten Island warehouse employee Derrick Palmer and his former co-worker Chris Smalls, succeeded. The union is pushing for higher wages, more breaks and more time off.

Meanwhile, Amazon workers in a large warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., participated in a do-over election in March after the National Labor Relations Board found that the company had improperly interfered in the 2021 union vote. In that second election, 875 Amazon workers voted in favor of joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and 993 voted against, but more than 400 contested ballots remain.

Workers at a smaller Amazon warehouse on Staten Island will begin voting on a union on April 25.

Related Topics: Labor issues