Staten Island Amazon workers refile petition for union election

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in New York on Wednesday refiled a petition to hold a unionization vote roughly a month after withdrawing their initial effort.

The Amazon Labor Union, a group of workers at a Staten Island facility that is independent of any national union, did not meet the 30 percent threshold of workers signing authorization cards required by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

NLRB spokesperson Kayla Blado confirmed that the agency has received the new petition and is reviewing whether there is a sufficient showing of interest among the 5,000 strong proposed bargaining unit.

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A spokesperson for Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the refiled petition.

The e-commerce giant has been vehemently anti-union, initially defeating a push to organize a Bessemer, Ala., facility led by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union last year. An NLRB official recently ruled that that election should be held again because Amazon intervened in the voting process.

The Staten Island workers may be boosted in their efforts to unionize the first Amazon facility in the U.S. by a settlement reached between the company and the NLRB Wednesday.

As part of the agreement, Amazon promised to email current and former warehouse workers a notification of their rights to organize and agreed to give them more flexibility to organize in company buildings.

The company will also be required to post those same notices in its facilities and change a rule that prohibited workers from being at or around warehouses within 15 minutes before or after their shifts.

The settlement was reached as part of six cases of Amazon workers alleging the company suppressed their ability to organize their colleagues.