A union formed at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island earned a victory when a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Regional Director reportedly agreed that Amazon should recognize the organization, according to Reuters and other media outlets. The ecommerce giant has the right to appeal the decision to a wider panel at the NRLB or can begin negotiating with workers at the JFK8 facility.
“We knew it was unlikely that the NLRB Regional Office would rule against itself, and intend to appeal,” said Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel in a statement.
Workers at JFK8 voted to unionized in April 2022, but the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) has yet to begin bargaining with Amazon. The union won the votes of 55% of associates, although only 58% of the 8,000 workers participated in the election. Amazon filed objections to the contest, but this ruling overrides them.
“We don’t believe this election process was fair, legitimate or representative of the majority of what our team wants,” said Nantel.
Further unionization efforts at Amazon have not been met with the success seen in Staten Island. A facility in Castleton, N.Y. rejected unionization with a 406 to 206 vote in October 2022, while facilities in Alabama and elsewhere on Staten Island rejected their own pushes earlier in the year. Additionally, a Bayonne, N.J. facility filed for an election but withdrew the proposal before it was held.
However, Amazon is still facing labor challenges. In October 2022, the NLRB filed a complaint against CEO Andy Jassy regarding potential violation of labor law in remarks discussing the company’s stance on unionization in interviews, which the board viewed as potentially interfering with employees’ right to organize. Additionally, the Teamsters Union has created a division dedicated to unionizing Amazon workers.