Amazon workers at Staten Island facility vote in favor of union, first in company's history

Any objections are due by April 8

Amazon workers at a facility on New York's Staten Island voted on Friday in favor of unionizing. 

Union supporters at the JFK8 facility secured a wide enough margin to give the Amazon Labor Union, which had been spearheading the union effort, enough support to pull off a win. 

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Workers voted 2,654-2,131 in favor of the union. There were only 67 challenged votes, which was not enough to sway the outcome, according to labor board officials. 

Officials said the results of the count won’t be verified until they process any objections that both parties may file. Any objections are due by April 8.

Still, the move marks a milestone for the company, the nation’s second-largest private employer, which had successfully avoided unions since its founding in 1994. 

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JFK8 warehouse, which began in-person voting Friday, is one of Amazon’s largest facilities in New York City with more than 8,300 employees. About 57% of those employees cast their ballot, according to the labor board. 

It's also one of two warehouses on Staten Island pushing to unionize. The second warehouse, LDJ5, is slated to begin voting at the end of April.  

The union drive at both warehouses is being led by a former Amazon employee, Christian Smalls. Smalls claims he was fired after organizing a walkout to protest working conditions at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, he has become the face of the nascent Amazon Labor Union and led its efforts at both warehouses on Staten Island. However, the battle to unionize hasn't been an easy one. 

"This bus stop has been home to me for the past 11 months," Smalls tweeted Wednesday. "I’ve done all I’ve could of physically done to get to this point. The rest is up to the people." 

Workers at Amazon's Bessemer, Alabama facility have rejected the union bid for the second time. The votes were 993-to-875 against the union. A hearing to review 416 challenged ballots is expected to begin in the next few days.  

Last year, labor board officials ordered a redo after determining that Amazon unfairly influenced the first election in Alabama even though workers overwhelmingly rejected the union. 

That union push has been led by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.