Amazonian Unionization

Andrea Hsu “In a stunning victory, Amazon workers on Staten Island vote for a union”


The workers, who pick and package items for customer orders at the facility will be represented by the Amazon Labor Union*2, an upstart group formed by Christian Smalls after he was fired from Amazon in March 2020. At the time a supervisor at the fulfillment center, he staged a walkout over the lack of worker protections against the coronavirus. Amazon says Smalls violated safety protocols by showing up after he'd been told to quarantine due to a COVID exposure.

Shortly after being fired, Smalls formed the Amazon Labor Union, relying on GoFundMe to finance the operation. The ALU is not affiliated with any national union, leading many to wonder early on whether it could even gather enough employee signatures to petition for a vote. Indeed, a first attempt failed, but Smalls persevered, eventually meeting the 30% threshold necessary to hold a vote.


Amazon mounted a robust anti-union campaign. Inside the warehouse, management hung "Vote No" banners and held mandatory meetings at which workers were urged to reject the ALU, which it referred to as a third party. The company has maintained that it prefers to work directly with its employees to make Amazon a great place to work.
See also

Michael Sainato “Amazon workers in New York make history by voting to form union”
Natalie Sherman “Amazon workers win battle to form first US union”

*1:アラバマ州では失敗している。See “Amazon: Union election to be rerun after claims of foul play” Annie Palmer “Amazon workers in Alabama reject union for second time, but challenged ballots remain” The Associated Press “Labor groups close in on Amazon in 2 tight union elections”