Amazon Union Has Strong Lead In NY Vote Count But Lags In Alabama
Amazon.com Inc. workers at a warehouse in New York City's Staten Island have so far voted 57% in favor of unionizing with a final tally due on Friday, April 1, 2022, a potential landmark victory for organized labor at the second-largest US private employer, Jeffrey Dastin and Danielle Kaye reported for Reuters.
Photo Insert: With nearly 2,700 ballots counted from workers at Amazon's JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island, about 57% of votes were in favor of a union.
But that win was in contrast to the 53% of Amazon workers in Alabama rejecting unionization, in a still-not final outcome.
The Alabama contest could hinge on 416 challenged ballots to be adjudicated in the coming weeks, which are sufficient to change the result, said the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is overseeing the election.
The situation is far different from last year when workers sided with Amazon by a more than 2-to-1 margin against unionizing.
If final results show either location voted for a union, it would be a historic first for the retailing giant in the US and a milestone for labor advocates, who for years have considered Amazon's labor practices a threat to workers. In fierce campaigns, Amazon has warned about unions in notices in bathroom stalls and held mandatory meetings telling workers that labor groups could force them to strike.
It has raised pay and offered bigger signing bonuses in a labor shortage, appealing to staff who have worried organizing means perpetual strife.
At the same time, union drives have picked up momentum. Nine US Starbucks stores have voted to organize, with more than 150 more seeking elections. Amazon workers responded to more in-person outreach by labor activists as the pandemic subsided, and a second company warehouse in Staten Island, LDJ5, will also vote on whether to unionize starting on April 25.
With nearly 2,700 ballots counted from workers at Amazon's JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island, about 57% of votes were in favor of a union, according to a Reuters tally of the count overseen by the NLRB and streamed over Zoom.