Amazon workers at warehouse near Albany file for union election

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Workers and supporters hold signs after filing a petition requesting an election to form a union outside the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in the Brooklyn Borough of New York, on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon workers at a warehouse in upstate New York have filed a petition to form a union with the National Labor Relations Board, the agency confirmed Tuesday.

Employees at the warehouse, which is located in the town of Schodack, southeast of Albany, New York, are seeking to be represented by the Amazon Labor Union, a grassroots group of current and former Amazon workers that successfully unionized one of the company’s Staten Island warehouses, known as JFK8, earlier this year.

NLRB spokesperson Kayla Blado confirmed organizers at the warehouse, which is referred to as ALB1, filed a petition with the agency Tuesday for a proposed unit of 400 people. She added that the NLRB’s regional office in Buffalo is in the process of verifying that the group has obtained a showing of interest, which indicates it has met the required threshold for employee signatures.

Heather Goodall, an ALB1 warehouse worker who’s leading the organizing effort, said she and other organizers plan to hold a news conference Wednesday to discuss the union campaign.

Goodall and other workers have been trying to organize their workplace for the past few months. Amazon has taken notice. Late last month, it began holding meetings at ALB1 discouraging employees from unionizing, including slideshow presentations that described unions as a “business that sell a service.”

The organizing effort in Albany marks the latest attempt to unionize an Amazon warehouse. The ALU, led by former employee Chris Smalls, in May failed to replicate its successful union campaign at another Staten Island warehouse, but it has still sought to gain traction elsewhere, including in Albany and a warehouse in Kentucky. Meanwhile, the results of an election at an Alabama facility remain too close to call.

Representatives from Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company has previously said it doesn’t believe unions are the right choice for its employees. Amazon is also fighting to get the vote at its JFK8 warehouse thrown out, arguing that the ALU and NLRB acted in a way that tainted the results of the election.

A union that led the unionization effort in Alabama is contesting the results of a recent do-over election, arguing Amazon improperly interfered in the campaign. Amazon has also objected to the union’s conduct during the election.

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