NEW YORK – Amazon and the nascent group that successfully organized the company’s first US union are headed for a rematch Monday, when a federal labor board counts the votes cast by warehouse workers at another Staten Island location.
A second labor victory could give workers at other Amazon facilities — and at other companies — the motivation they need to undertake similar efforts. It could also cement the power and influence of the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), the group that secured last month’s historic victory.
But a loss could silence some of the labor celebration and raise questions about whether the first victory was just a fluke.
Election results are expected to be announced Monday night by the National Labor Relations Board, which is overseeing the process. Meanwhile, the agency has yet to decide whether to certify the first win, which has been disputed by Amazon.
There are far fewer workers eligible to vote in this latest election compared to last month: about 1,500 compared to 8,300 at the neighboring Staten Island facility. There are also fewer organizers: about 10 against about 30.
“It’s a much more personal and aggressive fight here,” said Connor Spence, an Amazon employee who works as the union’s vice president of membership.
Meanwhile, Amazon continues to hold mandatory meetings to persuade its workers to reject the union effort, posting anti-union fliers and launching a website urging them to vote “NO.”
Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said in a statement that it’s up to employees whether or not they want to join a union. But “as a company, we don’t believe that unions are the best answer for our employees,” Nantel said. “Our focus remains on working directly with our team to continue making Amazon a great place to work.”
Despite being new and having few members, ALU has gained the support of prominent union leaders and legislators. At a rally last week, lawmakers Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke in support of the organizers.