MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Amazon workers vote to align with Teamsters

Jun 18, 2024, 8:26 AM | Updated: 3:37 pm

FILE - An Amazon company logo marks the facade of a company's building. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, Fil...

FILE - An Amazon company logo marks the facade of a company's building. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

(AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

Workers who are part of the Amazon Labor Union are aligning themselves with the Teamsters, overwhelmingly voting in favor of an affiliation.

The ALU members voted 98.3% in favor of the affiliation, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters said Tuesday. The affiliation gives the union workers access to various resources as they work to get a contract from Amazon, they added.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to The New York Times, Seattle workers in the fulfillment and sorting centers have pushed for improved conditions. The headquarters employs more than 75,000 tech workers and other employees who possess significant bargaining power but are still vulnerable to retaliation and replacement.

“Together, with hard work, courage, and conviction, the Teamsters and ALU will fight fearlessly to ensure Amazon workers secure the good jobs and safe working conditions they deserve in a union contract,” Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien said in a statement.

The Amazon Labor Union agreed to affiliate with the Teamsters earlier this month and were just waiting to vote to ratify the affiliation.

Other company news: Amazon to close Tukwila warehouse, impacting hundreds of workers

The ALU will essentially join the Teamsters as an “autonomous” local union with the same rights and duties as a standard chapter, according to the agreement.

The Teamsters previously said that its board had already unanimously approved the affiliation, a step that will bring them closer to their goal of unionizing Amazon’s non-corporate workforce.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, created in 1903, has 1.3 million members in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

While the ratification is viewed by some as a success for the ALU, the grassroots labor group has faced some challenges, including two election losses at other Amazon warehouses and internal strife about its organizing strategy.

Some organizers have left to form the ALU Democratic Reform Caucus, a dissident group that sued the union last year to force an election for new leadership. That election is expected to be held in July outside of the warehouse that voted to unionize, Arthur Schwartz, an attorney who represents the dissident group, said earlier this month.

Contributing: Bill Kaczaraba, MyNorthwest.

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