Despite falling short in union vote at second Staten Island Amazon facility, signs point to growing movement in support of organized labor.
May 4, 2022, CHICAGO - The Amazon Labor Union's (ALU) latest organizing drive was on the heels of a historic victory with Amazon workers from JFK8 in Staten Island, New York becoming the first warehouse of the mega retail giant to successfully vote to unionize in the United States despite a continued failure of Amazon to voluntarily recognize the ALU. The continuation and expansion of this worker led organizing drive is sending a clear message that Amazon workers want to be treated fairly. Harnessing this energy, the ALU continues to pick up steam under the leadership of former Amazon worker Chris Smalls as founder and first union president.
Warehouse Workers For Justice (WWJ) is proud to have supported this recent unionization drive by dispatching one of our seasoned field organizers to help with the final organizing drive for Amazon LDJ5.
“Workers are excited to have a voice and be part of the change needed in the warehouse industry.” said Bobby Frierson, WWJ Workplace Organizer. “My experience working alongside these amazing ALU leaders to organize another Staten Island Amazon facility has been nothing but energizing. Just to have the opportunity to stand with workers and feel that we are winning the fight against these corporate giants is incredible. I am proud to have represented WWJ as we stand in solidarity with the ALU and all Amazon warehouse workers around the world.”
The push for Staten Island based Amazon workers to organize culminated with a rally held on Sunday Apr 24, 2022 with support from labor organizers, leaders and some notable elected officials including Senator Bernie Sanders and US Representative Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez. Workers at LDJ5 voted last week facing an overwhelming union-busting campaign run by Amazon. The results were announced on Monday May 2, with a count of 380 votes to be represented by ALU and 618 against according to the NY Times.
While the results of the vote weren’t the desired outcome for the novel union and its allies, ALU is not backing down. President Chris Smalls said at a press conference immediately following the vote, “We’re gonna regroup and reassess then get right back in the game”.
In fact, Amazon workers are already seizing the opportunity to collectively improve their working conditions as the ALU has released a new list of 8 demands based on feedback from workers including:
WWJ will continue to stand in solidarity with Amazon workers and all warehouse workers nationwide. We are proud to be just one member of a broad network of ALU allies and supporters across the country and we know that together, we will win.
If workers are interested in learning more about standing up for their rights in the workplace, they can call our hotline at (815) 408-1231 or find us on the web at ww4j.org.