Amazon workers in New York take second shot at unionizing
New York, New York – Amazon workers at the only warehouse in New York City have filed another petition for a union vote!
Organizers at the JFK8 fulfillment center in Staten Island gathered over 2,500 signatures in their union election petition, which was submitted to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Wednesday.
Amazon workers in New York filed a previous petition in October, but it was withdrawn after the NLRB said they did not have enough signatures.
According to NLRB rules, 30% of the current workforce must sign on for a petition to be successful. The company's high turnover rates, reaching around 150% per year, may be one cause for the prior petition's failure, the New York Times reported.
If an election is held, workers will be voting whether or not to form the new, independent Amazon Labor Union.
Christian Smalls, a former Amazon employee leading the charge on unionization, said the organizers are "taking a different approach" by focusing exclusively on JFK8.
"We are hoping that not only do we have more than enough, but we have more than enough that are still employed," Smalls told the New York Times.
The same day the latest petition was filed, workers at JFK8 and surrounding facilities walked out over what they dubbed "unfair labor practices." They rallied in Times Square demanding change.
In particular, they were protesting the company's union-busting activities, including mandatory anti-union meetings and the "unfair firing" of a local employee.
They also called on the company to reinstate hazard pay and unlimited unpaid time off through the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.
Amazon has already been found to have engaged in unfair labor practices during the union election at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. Workers there will now get a second chance to vote whether to unionize.
Cover photo: IMAGO / NurPhoto