Staten Island Amazon Workers Make History by Voting to Unionize

The feat was quickly celebrated by workers' advocates on social media and elsewhere, while Amazon maintained its stance that unions aren't "the best answer."

Amazon warehouse on Staten

Image via Getty/Angela Weiss/AFP

Amazon warehouse on Staten

Amazon workers on Staten Island have voted to unionize, thus making company history as the first such union in the U.S.

It’s official‼️Amazon Labor Union is the first Amazon union in US HISTORY‼️POWER TO THE PEOPLE! #UnionStrong #ALUfortheWin

— Amazon Labor Union (@amazonlabor) April 1, 2022

Broken down by votes, a reported 2,654 were cast in favor of unionizing the warehouse, while 2,131 rejected it. An estimated 57 percent of the workers on the voting list participated by casting ballots, the Associated Press reported. Objections to the vote are due no later than next Friday, meaning results won’t immediately be formally verified.

The official numbers are out—and it ain’t even close. @amazonlabor ROCKED ‘EM

— Kim Kelly (@GrimKim) April 1, 2022

The group behind the successful unionization effort, as previously reported, was comprised of both current and former workers.

In a statement included in Friday’s AP report, an Amazon rep affirmed the company’s stance on unionization in general. “As a company, we don’t think unions are the best answer for our employees,” the rep said. “Our focus remains on working directly with our team to continue making Amazon a great place to work.”

Complex reached out to both the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Amazon for comment. The latter directed us to a statement reading, “We’re disappointed with the outcome of the election in Staten Island because we believe having a direct relationship with the company is best for our employees. We’re evaluating our options, including filing objections based on the inappropriate and undue influence by the NLRB that we and others (including the National Retail Federation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce) witnessed in this election.”

The New York City Central Labor Council, meanwhile, promptly congratulated workers on their “historic victory” in a statement shared Friday afternoon.

“Congratulations to the courageous Amazon workers here in Staten Island NYC, who stood up to the most anti-union company in America to demand a seat at the table and a voice at work!” a spokesperson said. “NYC is a #UnionTown and workers standing together are always stronger than workers standing alone.”

For a full breakdown of the Staten Island ballot count proceedings, click here. Also this week, the NLRB announced the initial results of another Amazon union vote in Alabama, although the final outcome in that instance could still hinge on challenged ballots.

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