Two years ago, Christian Smalls began organizing for a union at the Amazon Staten Island warehouse in New York. Smalls celebrated a hard-won victory as workers at the state’s most giant Amazon warehouse voted to join the newly formed Amazon Labor Union. The Staten Island warehouse became the first-ever Amazon location to successfully unionize, and, notably, it did so via a brand new union. Last year workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, voted against joining the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RDWSU). Smalls, explaining the Staten Island victory to The Guardian, said, “Established unions had 28 years to unionize at Amazon, and that didn’t work.”
The Amazon labor victory came when 17 Starbucks locations around the country won union representation late last year.
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