Albany Amazon warehouse will hold a vote to unionize next month

There’s been a flurry of activity around the Amazon labor movement of late. Several marches have been held in recent weeks, including one this morning for STL8, just outside of St. Louis. Albany, New York’s ALB1 has been causing its own waves, as well. This morning, National Labor Relations Board confirmed that a union vote for the fulfillment center is now scheduled for mid-October.

As with previous votes, the election will be open to hourly full-time and regular part-time employees. The list excludes those who work fewer hours, managers, seasonal employees, truck drivers and several other non-associate categories. It will stretch out over the course of four days, starting on Wednesday, October 12, with counting to commence Tuesday October 17.

The Amazon Labor Union, which helped Staten Island’s JFK8 become the site of the company’s first unionized warehouse, has been directly involved in these efforts. As rallies have unfolded in recent weeks, the company has pushed back with threats to arrest ALU President (and former JFK8 worker) Christian Smalls. Given the clash between Amazon and organizers over the last several pushes, it seems fair to suggest that Albany will be yet another hard-fought battle by all sides.

No doubt, the dam has broken to some degree after April’s union win in Staten Island — a critical mass Amazon was hoping to stave off in the earliest days. A group connected with the St. Louis march recently told TechCrunch that it has no unionization plans to speak of just yet, though its demands certainly sound familiar, including:

  • Raise all associates’ pay by at least $10/hr.
  • Remove the 36-month cap on wage increases.
  • Increase compensation by a minimum of $1/hr per additional job each associate is cross-trained for.
  • Ensure worker safety by creating an on-site, worker-led temporary accommodations committee that includes at least two Tier 1 associates.
  • Grant associates off-site electronic access to all Amazon policies.

Update: Amazon spokesperson Paul Flaningan offered TechCrunch the following less than enthusiastic response, “We remain skeptical that there are a sufficient number of legitimate signatures to support the union’s petition for an election, but the NLRB is moving forward. We’ve always said that we want our employees to have their voices heard, and we hope and expect this process allows for that.”