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17 Oct 2022

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Amazon Warehouse Workers in Southern California File for Union Representation

A group of Amazon warehouse workers in Southern California has submitted a petition to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to form a union.

The team of workers is seeking to join the Amazon Labor Union, an organization of current and former workers from other Amazon facilities. The Union, which is also referred to as JFK8, succeeded in organizing workers at a Staten Island Amazon warehouse earlier this year.

In a statement to NLRB, Kayla Blado confirmed an 800-member proposed unit had been filed Tuesday by the organizers of ONT8. A showing of interest could indicate that the organization has met the required threshold for employee signatures, according to Blado. However, it requires more paperwork from the Union before the NLRB can verify that.

Chris Smalls, the leader of ALU, said on Twitter that a petition has been filed and that he is excited about the future of the workforce. "More details to come," he added.

Amazon representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The historic vote in favor of the Union has started an upswing of organizing efforts among Amazon workers, from JFK8 warehouses near New York to another near Albany, to vote Wednesday on whether to unionize with ALU. The election will end in less than two weeks, and the NLRB will count ballots the following day.

Inland Empire, located east of Los Angeles, is where Amazon focused its development efforts. Recently the e-commerce giant has experienced electrical explosions in its warehouses and delivery hubs, raising concerns about pollution and other environmental damage.

At the end of 2021, Amazon employed more than 1.6 million people worldwide, making it the region's largest private employer.

At an Amazon air hub close to San Bernardino, workers held walkouts to demand pay raises and emphasize the importance of safety. These walkouts will resume this week, alongside walkouts at facilities in  Illinois and Georgia, to coincide with Amazon's Fall Prime Day event. They'll focus on raising worker awareness of health and safety concerns in their facilities.

Also, Read This Year, Amazon Plans to Hire 150,000 Workers, Despite a Slowing Economy

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