A group of Amazon employees in Staten Island, New York, has withdrawn their petition to hold a union election, according to the National Labor Relations Board.
The announcement comes less than two weeks before a hearing before the Labor Board to evaluate if there is enough desire to join a union at the Amazon distribution hub.
Kayla Blado, an NLRB representative, declined to comment on the rationale for the halt. She did point out, though, that workers can resubmit a petition.
After initiating the initiative in April, union organisers stated in late October that they had handed more than 2,000 signed union-support cards to the NLRB’s Brooklyn office. That’s a big step toward authorising a vote that might lead to the country’s first online shop becoming a union.
Organizers must submit signatures from at least 30% of the roughly 5,500 employees who the union claims work at four nearby Amazon plants that it intends to represent under collective bargaining as part of its petition to hold a vote.
This is Amazon’s second attempt at unionisation in the last year. Workers in Alabama soundly defeated a similar attempt earlier this year, but organisers there are now requesting a rerun from federal regulators. In Alabama, the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union is leading the battle.
Christian Smalls, a former Amazon employee, is spearheading a union push in New York City without the assistance of a national sponsor. He claimed he was sacked just hours after organising a walkout at the start of the pandemic last year to protest working conditions. Smalls could not be reached for comment right away.
“Our focus remains on listening directly to our employees and consistently improving on their behalf,” Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in an emailed statement.
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