Amazon Sorting Facility in Staten Island Votes Against Union

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An Amazon sorting facility on Staten Island voted against unionizing on Monday after its neighboring facility successfully voted to form a union on April 1

The package sorting facility, known as LDJ5, was the second battleground of a fight from workers to unionize at the e-commerce giant’s Staten Island site. Out of 1,633 eligible voters, 998 voted in the election with 618 opposed to joining the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) — an organization started by former employees of the nearby facility, JFK8.

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No ballots were contested by either the union or the retail giant, and the vote will stand unless either side files further legal challenges within the next five business days based on how the election was conducted, according to the National Labor Relations Board. Amazon celebrated the results in a statement to Commercial Observer.

“We’re glad that our team at LDJ5 were able to have their voices heard,” Kelly Nantel, Amazon’s national media relations director, said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to work directly together as we strive to make every day better for our employees.”

In April, Amazon workers at Staten Island’s JFK8 warehouse voted to form the first unionized Amazon facility in the country, marking the first successful union drive in the U.S. for the retail behemoth. However, union organizers alleged that Amazon tried to interfere with their efforts by distributing anti-union messages and interrogating employees. Workers are still awaiting the results of another election in Bessemer, Ala., that was too close to call when it concluded on March 31. 

The union drive in Staten Island began during the pandemic, which has been credited with driving unionization by drawing attention to poor and unsafe working conditions. Former Amazon employee Chris Smalls, now president of the ALU, led a protest against JFK8’s lack of pandemic precautions, kicking off a union drive. 

Smalls previously told CO he wanted to improve health, safety, job security and wages for workers, who have accused the retail giant of gender discrimination, among other things.

Smalls did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Update: This story has been updated to include a comment from Amazon.

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.