Amazon Loses Bid: The NLRB Just Upheld the Historic Staten Island Union Win

Union organizer Derrick Palmer speaks at a rally outside an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island in April 2022. Seth Wenig/AP

More than eight months after workers at Amazon’s JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island voted to unionize, the National Labor Relations Board has certified the election results, bringing the fledgling union one step closer to entering contract negotiations.

Amazon workers won their 2022 union election by a margin of 523 votes out of 4,785 valid ballots, according to an NLRB filing. Amazon appealed the results, arguing that organizers intimidated workers to vote for the union. On Wednesday evening, the NLRB dismissed Amazon’s 25 objections and certified “that a majority of the valid ballots have been cast for Amazon Labor Union.”

Still, Amazon has not been willing to recognize the union or negotiate a contract. It said that it plans to appeal the NLRBo decision, declaring in a statement that “we don’t believe this election process was fair, legitimate, or representative of the majority of what our team wants.”

Cassio Mendoza, an Amazon worker and spokesperson for the union, told me that the union’s ultimate goal was to transform Amazon labor from gig work into a career, with changes to pay, working conditions, and benefits.

But before the union can elect a bargaining committee and begin negotiating a contract, Amazon needs to join the NLRB in recognizing the election results. “We’re still just fighting for collective bargaining itself,” Mendoza said. “Within the next few months, we’re basically trying to ramp up pressure on Amazon until they come to the table, and we can start really getting into the bargaining process.”

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