Workers at Amazon JFK8 Staten Island warehouse began voting on whether to create a union on Friday as labor organizers look to New York for its first-ever union victory in its 28-year history. As the second-largest private employer in the United States, Amazon has long been a target for labor activists hoping that a single union victory will spur organizing efforts across the country.
Geebah Sando, a package sorter at JFK8 for more than two years, said he would vote in support of the union. He believes that a unionized workplace would result in more excellent wages and more benefits, such as longer breaks and paid vacation time. Amazon Labor Union leads the push to organize. In-person voting at JFK8 will last until March 30, with votes counted on March 31.
Although there was a long line to vote, Chris Smalls, the president of ALU and a former employee of the Staten Island warehouse, said the turnout was encouraging. A rerun of last year’s failed union organizing campaign at Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., is also scheduled to conclude on Friday. Votes will be counted starting on Monday for this second closely watched election.