An employee at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island in New York voted 2,654 to 2,131 in favor of forming the first union. To date, no Amazon subsidiary in the United States has been able to form a union.
In April last year, the first such attempt failed at a logistics center in Bessemer, Alabama.
Most employees there voted against employee representation. Employee representatives also lost the second ballot, which had to be held due to a union objection to the NLRB, the US Labor Law Commission. However, after the success of Staten Island, organizer Christian Smalls fired himself as an Amazon employee due to criticism of working conditions. He was celebrated on Twitter for his dedication:
Poor working conditions in the United States and Germany
Amazon is criticized in the United States for working conditions. Trade unions and politicians have criticized the staff of the group, founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, for being overworked and under constant scrutiny. In Germany, the Verdi union has been fighting for years to ensure that Amazon employees receive a collective agreement and are paid according to retail and postal order fees.
The unions are on the rise
The influence of trade unions in the United States is declining. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of American workers who are union members has fallen from about 20 percent in 1983 to 10 percent in 2021. Yet there has been a stir in the struggle of employee representatives. For example, two Starbucks coffee shops in New York’s upstate voted union in December. Since then, union campaigns have taken place in more than 150 restaurants. Similar efforts have recently been successful in museums, voluntary organizations, media organizations, and universities.
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