May 2, 2022 - Economy

Amazon workers vote against union at second Staten Island warehouse

Photo of a blue and white Amazon sign showing the company logo at the entrance to a warehouse facility

The entrance of the LDJ5 Amazon Sort Center on April 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images

Amazon workers at a Staten Island warehouse voted against unionizing on Monday, one month after a neighboring warehouse formed Amazon's first union in the U.S.

Why it matters: All eyes have been on Amazon workers to see if the Amazon Labor Union's (ALU) success from last month can be replicated. Since its April victory, workers at multiple other Amazon facilities have asked ALU for help organizing against the tech giant, which has resisted unionization efforts in its U.S. operations, VICE reports.

  • Workers at the second Staten Island warehouse, known as LDJ5, had received support from labor movement leaders as well as a visit from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
  • But 618 employees cast ballots against joining ALU, while 380 cast ballots in favor. 61% of eligible voters turned out for the election.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Dan Primack: This vote, after last month's union loss at a Starbucks in Virginia, suggests that organized labor's push into big new companies will be more uneven than wave-like.

  • The entire e-commerce industry is closely watching what happens with these warehouse votes, because what happens at Amazon will eventually trickle down to them.

What they're saying: "The organizing will continue at this facility and beyond," ALU tweeted after the vote was counted. "The fight has just begun."

  • Despite the outcome, "I’m proud of the worker/organizers of LDJ5," ALU President Chris Smalls tweeted. "[T]hey had a tougher challenge after our victory at JFK8."
  • "Our leads should be extremely proud to have given their coworkers a right to join a Union," he added. ALU will "continue to organize and so should all of you."
  • "We’re glad that our team at LDJ5 were able to have their voices heard," Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in a statement. "We look forward to continuing to work directly together as we strive to make every day better for our employees."

Worth noting: The company is seeking to overturn Amazon Labor Union's victory, citing grievances with the election process.

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