Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Amazon union organizers rally after their win

Union organizer Christian Smalls speaks following the April 1, 2022 vote for the unionization of the Amazon Staten Island warehouse in New York. (Photo: Andrea Renault/AFP via Getty Images)

Amazon Union Slams Any Attempt to 'Delay Our Hard-Won Right to Bargain Collectively'

"The workers of JFK8 have made clear their desire and intention to engage in collective bargaining."

Jake Johnson

In the wake of its historic victory in the election to unionize Amazon's JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island, the Amazon Labor Union demanded over the weekend that the company begin collective bargaining negotiations in early May and immediately halt any changes to employment policies in the meantime.

"As you are aware, the Amazon Labor Union has decisively won the union election," Christian Smalls, the president of ALU, wrote in a letter to company management. "We are available to meet anytime on May 2, 3, 4, or 5 of 2022 for collective bargaining negotiations. Please provide your available dates and times before close of business on April 8, 2022."

"It is in the common interest of both parties to respect the outcome of this democratic election."

Amazon has until April 8 to formally submit any objections to the election results, a step the company signaled it may take shortly following news of the union's victory on Friday, the first-ever vote in favor of unionizing an Amazon warehouse in the United States and one of the biggest wins for the labor movement in decades.

The company, which waged an aggressive union-busting campaign in the lead-up to the election, said it is "evaluating our options, including filing objections based on the inappropriate and undue influence by the [National Labor Relations Board]"—an indication that Amazon management is not prepared to start collective bargaining talks. The retail behemoth is also fighting off a unionization attempt in Bessemer, Alabama, where election results released last week were razor-close.

According to a Bloomberg Law analysis from last year, it takes longer than a year on average for new unions and employers to sign their first collective bargaining agreement. Many unions, due to bad-faith negotiating by employers and other factors, never succeed in securing their first contract.

In a statement on Saturday, the ALU said that "it is in the common interest of both parties to respect the outcome of this democratic election." The union added in an accompanying tweet that "JFK8 workers denounce any attempt by Amazon to delay our hard-won right to bargain collectively."

"The workers of JFK8 have made clear their desire and intention to engage in collective bargaining," the union said. "It is our sincere hope that we can begin a constructive dialogue with our employer, and that the process will result in greatly improved working conditions for Amazon workers."

"President Smalls has also demanded on behalf of workers that Amazon hereby maintain the status quo with regards to terms and conditions of employment at JFK8," the union continued, alluding to concerns that Amazon could retaliate against organizers. "Additionally, we demand the employer respect each worker's legal right to union representation in disciplinary meetings, and the outcome of any such meeting be subject to bargaining."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Bloodbath': At Least 6 Dead, Dozens Wounded in Mass Shooting at Illinois July 4th Parade

"What freedom do we have if we fear being gunned down at a parade?" asked one progressive politician horrified by the reported carnage.

Brett Wilkins ·


On This July 4th, Abortion Rights Movement Says 'We're Not in the Mood for Fireworks'

"If we don’t have the ability to make decisions about if, when, and how to grow our families—we don't have freedom."

Brett Wilkins ·


Deadly Glacier Collapse in Italy 'Linked Directly to Climate Change'

At least seven people were killed when a glacier slid down a mountainside near a popular climbing route in the Alps on Sunday.

Julia Conley ·


'Organized Whitewash': US Claims Israeli Military's Murder of Journalist Not Intentional

"The odds that those responsible for the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh will be held to account are all but nonexistent," said the human rights group B'Tselem in response to findings of U.S. State Department.

Brett Wilkins ·


Hundreds March in Akron Enraged by Police Killing of Jayland Walker

"The police can do whatever they want," said one local resident through tears. "They can take our children's lives and think it's okay."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo