United States: employees of a second Amazon warehouse called to vote to join the union

Will the Amazon union set up in a second warehouse in the United States? Employees at a sorting center in New York begin voting on Monday to decide whether or not to join Amazon Labor Union (ALU), the first union within the online sales giant in the United States.

About 1,800 employees are called upon to vote until Friday in a tent set up for the occasion near the site, with a count scheduled for next Monday. The building, called LDJ5, is located in an industrial area in the Staten Island neighborhood across the street from the JFK8 warehousewhere 55% of employees voted at the end of March to be represented by ALU.

“An inspiration to millions of workers”

Second largest employer in the United States after the distribution giant Walmart, Amazon had until then succeeded in repelling the desires of employees wishing to regroup in the country since its creation in 1994.

Christian Smalls, president of ALU, said he was confident on Sunday about the vote at the sorting center. “We have positive vibes, we take advantage of the momentum,” he said. Two figures from the left wing of the Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, had come to support the movement during a rally in front of the building.

“This battle is not just about Amazon in Staten Island,” said Bernie Sanders. “Workers are sick and tired of sinking ever lower while billionaires like Jeff Bezos (the founder of the company) get richer,” he said.

“You have become an inspiration to millions of workers across the country,” he also noted, addressing union members. If the union’s victory is bolstered by a second success, it could spur other warehouses to get started. The members of the organization claim to have already been contacted by representatives of several dozen warehouses from all over the United States.

Towards a wave of unionization?

Motivated by the attitude of their company during the pandemic and more recently by inflation, several groups of employees of multinationals such as Amazon, Starbucks or Apple are currently trying to organize themselves.

But the online sales giant in the United States does not intend to let it go. Amazon filed an appeal against the result of the vote at JFK8, claiming in particular that members of the ALU had “intimidated” the employees and accusing the agency responsible for supervising the ballot of being biased.

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