Amazon workers in Staten Island will vote on whether to form a union next month

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Amazon workers in Staten Island will vote on whether to form a union next month
An employee scans packages at Amazon's JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York, US November 25, 2020.REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
  • Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island will vote on whether to form a union next month.
  • The vote will be in-person and run from March 25 to March 30, a union organizer said.
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Workers at Amazon's JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island, New York will vote on whether to form a union next month.

Chris Smalls, a former JFK8 worker and president of the union campaign, Amazon Labor Union, tweeted saying the vote will take place between March 25 and March 30. Smalls added that it will be an in-person vote.

Smalls said that the ALU and Amazon had reached an agreement on the election prior to a National Labor Relations Board hearing that had been scheduled to hammer out the details of the election.

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An NLRB spokesperson told Insider that both parties had "tentatively reached a stipulated election agreement" meaning the hearing had been "suspended pending finalization of the tentative agreement."

An Amazon spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal: "Since the NLRB has decided the election will proceed, we want our employees to have their voices heard as soon as possible."

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"We look forward to having our employees' voices heard. Our focus remains on working directly with our team to make Amazon a great place to work," an Amazon spokesperson told Insider.

Smalls and the ALU have been openly campaigning for a union vote at JFK8 since April 2021. Smalls worked at JFK8 until March 2020, when he was fired after organizing an employee protest saying the warehouse wasn't doing enough to guard workers against COVID-19. Amazon said he was terminated for violating its social distancing rules.

The election at JFK8 will overlap with a union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama.

The Bessemer warehouse held a union election in March 2021 in which workers voted against unionization. The NLRB in November ordered the election be re-held, saying Amazon had illegally interfered in the first election.

Voting in the Bessemer election has already begun and will run until March 28, when the votes will be counted.

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Whereas workers in Bessemer will vote on whether to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU), the ALU seeks to establish an independent union in Staten Island.

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