by Ailan Evans
Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island, New York City, announced plans Thursday to file for a union election before the National Labor Relations Board next week.
Amazon Labor Union, which represents 2,000 Amazon workers, signed union authorization cards and announced plans to petition for an election, according to Vice. If the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) approves this request and the unionization vote succeeds, the workers would be the first Amazon employees to successfully unionize.
“We intend to fight for higher wages, job security, safer working conditions, more paid time off, better medical leave options, and longer breaks,” Amazon Labor Union said in a press release, according to Vice. “This is truly a remarkable historical moment for all Amazon workers all over the country. [Amazon Labor Union] has already broken barriers and will continue to do so but we’re not getting complacent.”
Amazon workers previously attempted to unionize in April at a Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse facility but failed to win the unionization election. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), which would have represented the workers had the vote succeeded, later filed a complaint with the NLRB alleging that Amazon intimidated and threatened workers to prevent the election from taking place.
“Our employees have the choice of whether or not to join a union. They always have,” an Amazon spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “As a company, we don’t think unions are the best answer for our employees.”
“The benefits of direct relationships between managers and employees can’t be overstated—these relationships allow every employee’s voice to be heard, not just the voices of a select few,” the spokesperson added.
Unionization efforts are being led by Christian Smalls, a former Amazon warehouse employee fired during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The New York Times.
The push to unionize at Amazon follows several labor strikes that have erupted across the country in recent months.
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Ailan Evans is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Photo “Amazon warehouse in Maryland” by Maryland Gov. CC BY 2.0.