Amazon workers at second New York location move to unionize

The Amazon Labor Union has filed a petition for the LDJ5 facility.

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Workers at LDJ5, an Amazon warehouse facility on New York's Staten Island, have filed a petition to unionize with the National Labor Relations Board. It's the second facility Staten Island to make an attempt at forming a union after JFK8, and it's also seeking to be represented by the Amazon Labor Union, an independent group comprised of current and former company employees. According to CNBC, the ALU filed the petition on Wednesday.

The ALU originally filed to form a union last year for JFK8 and three other nearby facilities, but it had to withdraw its petition after it failed to gather enough votes to proceed. It refiled its application in December, however, and focused only on JFK8. Former Amazon employee and ALU leader Christian Smalls said back then that the group was "taking a different approach" and hoping that it has "more than enough" support from employees in the facility. Smalls led a walkout at JFK8 over the e-commerce giant's handling of COVID safety at the warehouse. Amazon said he was fired after "multiple warnings for violating social distancing guidelines."

In late January, the ALU collected enough signatures to proceed with a union election vote at JFK8, a feat the e-commerce giant doubts. Reaching the threshold means the ALU was able to secure the support of 30 percent of the warehouse's workforce. Amazon told Engadget in a statement when the news broke that it's "skeptical that there are a sufficient number of legitimate signatures" and that it's "seeking to understand how these signatures were verified." An election has been set for JFK8 on February 16th. As for LDJ5, the ALU still will have to collect enough signatures from its 1,500 workers for an election to be able to proceed.

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