Amazon workers in NY warehouse vote to join first US union
- Out of approximately 8,325 eligible voters, 4,785 votes were counted
- The Amazon Labor Union (ALU) won 2,654 yes votes versus 2,131 no votes for the company
- Thursday's victory is expected to motivate labor activists and workers at Amazon and beyond
Amazon.com workers at a New York warehouse voted to form company's first union in the tech giant's 27-year history.
The election at Amazon’s JFK8 fulfillment center in Staten Island end with the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) winning 2,654 yes votes versus 2,131 no votes for the company, Bloomberg reported.
Out of approximately 8,325 eligible voters, 4,785 votes were counted and another 67 were challenged. Seventeen ballots were voided.
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"Vote Yes For The Union. Despite what Amazon tells you, the union isn't some outside organization. It's a legal recognition of our right to have a say at work — as a group instead," read flyers that were distributed by Amazon Labor Union organizers and members of other labor groups who gathered in downtown Brooklyn ahead of the official result declaration.
Members of another pro-labor group held a large sign that read: "Amazon and Starbucks: Stop Union Busting! Recognize the union and negotiate now!"
Thursday's victory in New York is expected to motivate labor activists and workers at Amazon and beyond.
“This is a huge shot in the arm for the entire labor movement," Kate Bronfenbrenner, the director of labor education research at Cornell University, said. “This is going to inspire workers, not just throughout the U.S. In people’s eyes, Amazon and Walmart are interchangeable as the biggest private-sector employers that everyone thought couldn’t be beaten. It takes one of the biggest, and says you can organize anyone."
Amazon has previously said its "employees have always had the choice of whether or not to join a union" and that it is focused on "working directly with our team to make Amazon a great place to work."