Union election at Amazon Staten Island warehouse begins Friday

FOX Business Flash top headlines for March 25

Here are your FOX Business Flash top headlines for March 25.

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island began voting Friday on whether to unionize. 

The move could mark a major milestone for the nation’s second-largest private employer, which has successfully avoided unions since it was founded in 1994. Now, it's in the midst of facing multiple union elections from workers in Alabama and New York.  

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Employees at the JFK8 facility are slated to vote in person through March 30, according to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The ballot count will be conducted on March 31, the labor board said. 

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In January, employees at JFK8, one of two warehouses in the New York City borough pushing to unionize, "reached a sufficient showing of interest" to hold a union election. Workers withdrew their first petition to unionize in November after running into snags over the number of current employees who had signed on. 

Amazon previously argued that the turn of events in the fall showed that most workers at the Staten Island warehouse don’t want to unionize.

Still, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told FOX Business on Friday that the company is looking forward to having its "employees’ voices heard." 

"Our focus remains on working directly with our team to continue making Amazon a great place to work," Nantel said. 

The Amazon Labor Union, which is spearheading the push, tweeted Thursday that after a tiring year, the end "is in sight."

"It has been nearly a year of tireless volunteer campaigning, millions spent union busting, and thousands of conversations with coworkers," the group tweeted. "The end is in sight. Let’s finish this."  

The second Staten Island warehouse, known as LDJ5, is will hold an in-person election at the end of April, according to the labor board. 

Both efforts in New York are being led by a former Amazon employee, Christian Smalls, who claims he was fired after organizing a walkout to protest working conditions at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Meanwhile, workers at a facility in Bessemer, Alabama – which made headlines last year for the biggest unionizing push in Amazon history, are voting by mail for the second time. 

Labor board officials ordered a redo after determining that Amazon unfairly influenced the election last year. Last time, workers at the warehouse overwhelmingly rejected the union, voting 1,798 to 738. 

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union has been spearheading that union drive. Ballots for that election are supposed to be returned to the NLRB regional office by Friday in order for the vote country to kick off on March 28. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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