Amazon workers in Staten Island have gathered enough employee signatures to hold a union vote, the NLRB says

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Amazon workers in Staten Island have gathered enough employee signatures to hold a union vote, the NLRB says
Chris Smalls, president of the Amazon Labor Union.Craig Ruttle/AP Photo
  • Amazon workers in Staten Island have enough signatures to hold a union election, the NLRB said.
  • The Amazon Labor Union has been campaigning for a union vote since April.
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Amazon workers at a warehouse in Staten Island can officially ask for a union election, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) confirmed on Wednesday.

An NLRB spokesperson said in a statement to Insider that the Amazon Labor Union, a group that has been campaigning for a union election in Staten Island since April, had "reached a sufficient showing of interest," by collecting signed union authorization cards from workers to hold a union vote.

The ALU submitted its petition for a union election in late December.

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The NLRB has scheduled a hearing for February 16 to discuss which workers would be included in the union's bargaining unit, the NLRB told Insider.

ALU president and former Amazon worker Chris Smalls confirmed the February 16 date in a tweet.

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"We're skeptical that there are a sufficient number of legitimate signatures and we're seeking to understand how these signatures were verified," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement sent to Insider. They did not respond when asked what reason Amazon had for being skeptical of the number of legitimate signatures.

Smalls said on Twitter the NLRB had verified the authorization cards using Amazon's own payroll list. He added the ALU had signed up "over 2500 workers."

"Our employees have always had a choice of whether or not to join a union, and as we saw just a few months ago, the vast majority of our team in Staten Island did not support the ALU," Amazon's spokesperson added.

The ALU previously submitted a petition for a union election in October but withdrew the petition in November after not reaching the sufficient threshold. Smalls said at the time that the facility's high rate of turnover had caused the union to dip below the threshold.

Amazon is facing another union vote at a warehouse in Alabama this year. The company's Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse is holding a rerun of a union election held in February and March 2021, in which workers voted against forming a union. The NLRB ordered that the election be re-held, saying Amazon had illegally interfered.

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