Amazon warehouse workers on Staten Island file union election petition – .

Amazon warehouse workers on Staten Island file union election petition – .

Oct. 25 (Reuters) – Workers at an Inc (AMZN.O) warehouse in the Staten Island borough of New York City filed a petition to form a union, National Labor said Monday. United States Relations Board (NLRB).

The move marks the second time U.S. staff at the world’s largest online retailer aim to unionize this year, following a failure at an Alabama facility in April. Although Amazon has long resisted such efforts, some employees are arguing for more protections and benefits in light of a COVID-19 pandemic that puts their safety at risk.

Chris Smalls, a former Staten Island warehouse worker, led the organizing campaign and collected approximately 2,000 signatures to demand an official vote through the NLRB. Smalls rose to prominence last year when Amazon fired him, alleging he violated a paid pandemic-related quarantine when he showed up at his facility to protest the working conditions.

“It’s monumental for workers,” Smalls said in an interview. “It’s proof that you can stand up, fight and organize your workplace. “

The NLRB confirmed that the union petition was filed electronically with the board of directors.

Amazon did not respond to requests for comment on the petition.

Over the past six months, some of the staff at the Staten Island warehouse, called “JFK8”, and other nearby facilities have organized themselves to form what they call the Amazon Labor Union (ALU). Smalls said he had pitched a tent outside the warehouse, while some current workers were making the same cause inside.

These workers are demanding higher wages, job security, safer conditions, better medical leave and more paid time off. According to Smalls, Amazon published anti-union literature and his group responded with their own literature.

The organizing campaign is taking place at Amazon’s only distribution center in New York City, one of the company’s large warehouses from which it ships many merchandise.

It is not clear when an election would take place if regulators give the petition the green light.

Amazon easily pushed back the efforts of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Stores Union (RWDSU) to organize its warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama.

Workers rejected RWDSU membership by a margin of more than two to one this spring, but another vote could come as the NLRB examines union claims that Amazon violated labor laws in this election .

Reporting by Nivedita Balu and Jeffrey Dastin; Writing by Anna Driver; Editing by Mark Porter and Will Dunham

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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