Amazon union election in Staten Island to begin in March

Amazon union election in Staten Island to begin in March

Workers and supporters hold signs after filing a petition requesting an election to form a union outside the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in the Brooklyn Borough of New York, on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon will face a union election at one of its warehouses on New York’s Staten Island next month, according to a labor group behind the effort.

Workers at the Staten Island warehouse, known as JFK8, will cast their ballots between March 25 and March 30, according to the Amazon Labor Union, a labor group that is seeking to represent JFK8 workers.

The election will take place in person, in a tent outside the warehouse, the group said in a tweet. That’s a departure from the National Labor Relations Board’s protocol in recent elections. Over the past year, many union drives have taken place via mail-in ballot as a safety measure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told CNBC in a statement: “We remain skeptical that there are a sufficient number of legitimate signatures to support this election petition. But since the NLRB has decided the election will proceed, we want our employees to have their voices heard as soon as possible.”

An NLRB spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The election comes as Amazon is in the middle of another high-stakes union drive at its Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse. The NLRB began distributing ballots to Bessemer warehouse workers earlier this month, as part of a rerun election ordered by the labor agency after it determined Amazon improperly interfered in an election held last year. Votes are set to be counted on March 28.

It also faces another potential labor battle on Staten Island. Earlier this month, ALU filed a petition to hold an election at a nearby facility, known as LDJ5.

ALU is made up of current and former Amazon employees, including Chris Smalls, a former management assistant at JFK8 who was fired in March of 2020. Amazon said Smalls was fired as a result of violating company policies. But his firing attracted scrutiny nationwide from lawmakers and labor advocates who argued he was dismissed for criticizing workplace conditions, as well as organizing a walkout to demand stronger coronavirus safety measures.

WATCH: How Amazon is fighting back against workers’ increasing efforts to unionize


Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

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