Workers at Amazon’s Staten Island fulfillment center vote to unionize

Workers at Amazon’s Staten Island fulfillment center vote to unionize

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Workers at Amazon.com Inc.’s JFK8 fulfillment center in Staten Island have voted to form a union, the New York Times reported today.

The facility is Amazon’s sole fulfillment center in New York City. With more than 8,300 workers, it’s reportedly also the largest of the four facilities that the online retail and technology giant operates in Staten Island.  

Voting at the fulfillment center began on March 25 and took place over the course of five days. According to the Times, 2,654 workers cast ballots in favor of being represented by the Amazon Labor Union and 2,131 voted against. CNBC reported that there were 67 challenged ballots.

“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,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC in a statement. “We’re evaluating our options, including filing objections based on the inappropriate and undue influence by the NLRB that we and others (including the National Retail Federation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce) witnessed in this election.”

The vote at the Staten Island facility followed a separate union election at Amazon’s BHM1 fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama. Workers voted on whether or not to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

At the Bessemer facility, 993 workers voted against unionization and 875 voted in favor. Additionally, 59 ballots counted as void and 416 counted as challenged, The Verge reported. The National Labor Relations Board plans to hold a hearing in a few weeks to determine if any of the challenged ballots will be opened and counted.

Amazon workers in Staten Island are soon set to hold yet another union election, the Times reported today. The vote will take place at an Amazon facility near the JFK8 fulfillment center where workers decided to unionize.

This week’s union election in New York comes less than two months after Amazon disclosed that its U.S. workforce has surpassed one million employees. The company has hired more than 500,000 workers in the U.S. and abroad over the last few quarters to meet growing e-commerce demand.

Amazon’s operating costs increased by $4 billion last quarter partly because it has been offering higher wages to recruit and retain talent more effectively. The company is also making significant investments in supply chain facilities. Amazon opened more than 250 new fulfillment centers, sortation centers, regional air hubs and delivery stations in the U.S. last year. 

Photo: Amazon

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