Amazon warehouse workers in NYC move to unionize, raising prospect of political battle

·2 min read

A group of Amazon warehouse employees in Staten Island, New York, announced Thursday its plan to file for a union election, which could kick-start the second serious unionization effort within the retail giant in less than a year.

Amazon succeeded in squelching a unionization effort in Alabama earlier this year, the first attempt in the United States. The drive, however, drew support from Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and independent socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, generating nationwide interest.

The Amazon Labor Union, an independent group of warehouse workers, said more than 2,000 employees within four Amazon workspaces in Staten Island have expressed support for unionizing and that the group plans to file for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board next week.

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If the group's vote request is approved by the NLRB, the process for unionization would start.

“This is truly a remarkable historical moment for all Amazon workers all over the country,” the group said in a statement. “ALU has already broken barriers and will continue to do so, but we’re not getting complacent. We now need the support of the communities more than ever as our fight is just getting started.”

Amazon said it would respect its workers' choices to join a union or not but added that a union is not a good idea for its employees.

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“Every day we empower people to find ways to improve their jobs, and when they do that we want to make those changes — quickly,” Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel told CNBC in a statement. “That type of continuous improvement is harder to do quickly and nimbly with unions in the middle.”

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Tags: News, Policy, Amazon, Worker Benefits, Workers, Unions

Original Author: Nihal Krishan

Original Location: Amazon warehouse workers in NYC move to unionize, raising prospect of political battle

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