Employees at an Amazon warehouse in a town southeast of Albany, New York, have petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for a union election.
The warehouse, codenamed ALB1, hopes to join the Amazon Labor Union, which recently convinced the majority of workers at the company’s JFK8 facility in Staten Island to vote in favor of unionization.
According to an NLRB spokesperson, the agency’s Buffalo office is currently verifying whether the group truly met the minimum number of signatures required to hold an election.
To hold a vote, unions typically need to collect signatures from 30% of eligible members. According to The Washington Post, the ALU previously stated that the threshold for the Albany warehouse had been met. For months, union organizers at the facility have been working to join the ALU.
After Amazon became aware of their efforts, the company allegedly held meetings to discourage employees from unionizing. An employee also sent us photos of anti-union messages on digital TVs at the Albany facility.
To be more specific, the messages discouraged people from signing a “card” from the ALU, which refers to the authorization cards workers must sign for the warehouse in order to vote.
The ALU has previously accused the company of retaliation for its demands for higher pay and safer working conditions for warehouse workers. A few weeks after winning the Staten Island election, Amazon fired two of the employees involved in its organization efforts. Their fellow organizers thought it was a retaliatory move by the e-commerce behemoth.
Heather Goodall, a lead organizer at ALB1, said: “The main concerns I hear from workers are about wages and safety. Besides that, there’s no job security. There’s no way to rest on a 15-minute break. Workers want to be able to use the bathroom freely.”
Amazon has long made it clear that it is against workers’ unionization efforts. A spokesperson told The Post: “As a company, we don’t think unions are the best answer for our employees. Our focus remains on working directly with our team to continue making Amazon a great place to work.”
The company also appealed ALU’s victory in Staten Island, accusing organizers of pressuring workers to vote in favor unionizing. A hearing for Amazon’s appeal could be announced sometime this month.