By Sara Ashley O'Brien, CNN Business
Updated 3:07 PM EDT, Mon April 04, 2022
(CNN Business)After Christian Smalls was fired two years ago from an Amazon warehouse in New York City following his participation in a walkout over its pandemic response, an executive at the company suggested undercutting his organizing efforts by painting him as "not smart, or articulate." When Smalls' newly-established organization garnered enough interest to hold a union election at that facility this year, a spokesperson for the tech giant initially cast doubt on the legitimacy of the signatures indicating support. And when the election went forward, Amazon engaged in a full-blown campaign to combat the union drive, including text messages, signage and required group meetings to convey its anti-union message to workers.
But on Friday, the results of that election showed that employees at the Staten Island, New York, facility voted overwhelmingly in favor of unionizing with Amazon Labor Union (ALU), the grassroots labor organization started by Smalls and other current and former Amazon employees of the facility. The move marks the first time a group of US workers have successfully voted to form a union in Amazon's 27-year history.