NYC Amazon Union Workers Vote to Join Teamsters International

In a near-unanimous vote, members of the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) in New York City will join the 1.3 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). The newly chartered ALU-IBT Local 1 will represent the approximately 5,500 Amazon warehouse workers at the JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, N.Y., and also will have jurisdiction over the company’s warehouse workers across the five boroughs.

Like many large retailers, notably Starbucks, Amazon has had a contentious relationship with unions. Workers at the JFK8 facility voted to unionize in April 2022, but the ALU has yet to secure a contract with the company. Amazon was accused of harassing employees seeking to unionize at both the JFK8 and the DYY6 distribution centers on Staten Island; the National Labor Relations Board won a ruling against Amazon for engaging in these activities in December 2023.

The Teamsters, which flexed their power in getting a strong contract from UPS in July 2023, launched its Amazon Division, focused on unionizing Amazon employees, in September 2022. In January 2024, workers at a Costco in Norfolk, Va. also voted to join the Teamsters union.

“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,” said Sean O’Brien, Teamsters General President in a statement. “The Teamsters set the standard with our agreement protecting 340,000 UPS warehouse workers and drivers in this industry. You can be certain that we will hold Amazon to these same standards, and not the other way around. As long as Amazon exploits and abuses workers, this corporate bully will have to answer to the Teamsters and ALU, standing together.”

“On behalf of the Amazon Labor Union, I’m proud of our members choosing a path to victory,” said Chris Smalls, President of the ALU in a statement. “We’re now stronger than ever before. Having the support of 1.3 million Teamsters to take on Amazon gives us tremendous worker power and the opportunities to demand better conditions for our members and, most importantly, to secure a contract at JFK8.”