An Amazon.com warehouse in New York City saw its workers vote to organise the first workers’ union at the second-largest private employer in the US. This battle win adds to recent grassroots victories of labour activities emerging into new industries. This took place at he retail giant’s fulfilment centre in the borough of Staten island also called JFK8. The employees secured a majority of voting 2,654 to 2,131 in support of the Amazon Labor Union. A count published by the National Labor Relations Board on Friday revealed the figure to be around 55%.
The vote showcased a clear win for US organised labour and a milestone for advocates in the field. These advocates held the belief for years that Amazon’s labour practices was rather dangerous for the workers. The retail company stated that it is weighing options including filing objection. These objections were the ones based on what it considered inappropriate and undue influence by the board. Their spokesperson, however, stated how they are an independent federal organisations and how their actions always followed congressional mandate.
“We’re disappointed with the outcome of the election in Staten Island because we believe having a direct relationship with the company is best for our employees,” Amazon said in a statement.
Though the vote might be cleared and certified, union negotiators would still have to bargain with the retail giant to deliver on wants for improvements. Union organiser Christian Smalls was doubted by many when he announced plans for unionisation. However, he gained supporters as he spoke of the true agenda of the unionisation.
Both, US President Biden and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, expressed delight at seeing the success of the Amazon workers. Biden supported these workers’ right to choose to form a union and express their expectations.
Among other instances of labour drives, nine Starbucks facilities have voted to organise a union. Recently, workers at an Apple retail store were also seen to plan a unionisation. On the other hand, Google settled with six employees who were involved in organising labour unionisations.
An Amazon facility in Alabama, contrastingly, saw a group of workers rejecting a unionisation. The contest could hinge on 416 challenged ballots to be adjudicated in the coming weeks which were sufficient to alter the result. However, the situation is relatively distinct from what it was last year when the workers were rather in favour of the retail company then.