The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) press secretary Kayla Blado verified to The Verge that Amazon warehouse workers on Staten Island, New York, have re-filed a union petition. According to News Media, workers reportedly staged a “lunchtime strike” in an attempt to urge Amazon to recognize the union.
At four Staten Island warehouse locations, the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) is organizing a union. On October 25th, it filed for a union election and received almost 2,000 employee signatures in support. According to Bloomberg, the group later withdrew its petition after determining that it needed more signatures. According to News Media, union organizers in the United States must have the support of at least 30% of workers. The four warehouses employ a total of 5,500 people. According to the New York Times, organizers are concentrating their efforts this time on a single warehouse, JFK8, in order to enlist the help of enough individuals who are still there despite significant turnover.
The ALU had finished submitting the petition, according to Blado. The NLRB will now have to examine the expression of interest to see if the group has gathered enough signatures from current employees to trigger a union election. In addition to resubmitting the petition, the walkout was held today “in protest of Amazon’s unfair labor practices,” which include “illegal interference in union organizing activities,” according to the group. In view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the ALU is also requesting the reinstatement of hazard pay and unlimited unpaid time off.
Christian Smalls, an ex-Amazon employee who led the ALU after organizing a walkout in protest of unsafe working conditions during the COVID-19 outbreak, was sacked from the firm. If the NLRB approves the ALU’s petition, Amazon workers will be able to organize for the second time in 2021. Amazon employees in Bessemer, Alabama, voted against unionization in April, but the NLRB has subsequently ordered re-election after determining that Amazon may have interfered with the first vote.
“Our priority remains on personally listening to our employees and consistently improving on their behalf,” said Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokesman.