In a historic victory, Amazon workers in Staten Island won their election to form the first U.S. Amazon union. Amazon Labor Union workers at the JFK8 warehouse overcame extreme union-busting to make history.
The union grew out of a walkout when Amazon exposed workers to Covid in March 2020. Amazon ignored their demands and fired the workers who led the strike. Inspired by Alabama Amazon workers, Amazon Labor launched a campaign to unionize their warehouse.
Chris Smalls, who led the 2020 walkout, was fired and smeared by Amazon. Unafraid, Smalls took the fight to Jeff Bezos. The union set up shop in the JFK8 parking lot, hosting what was virtually a 24/7 organizing rally.
Immediately, Amazon began aggressively busting the union. When workers held a cook-out, Amazon called the Fire Department. After workers met in a grassy area, Amazon built a fence with a “beware of dog” sign.
Amazon Labor Union organizers defied harassment and even arrests. Amazon enlisted NYPD to arrest organizers. Police told workers, “We won, you lost.”
But despite all of Amazon’s illegal union-busting, the workers prevailed, and they’re not done. A second warehouse will vote at the end of April. Few people thought they’d win this election. Now, anything is possible.