The National Labor Relations Board has received a petition to organise a union from Amazon workers at a warehouse in Southern California.
The Amazon Labor Union, a grassroots organisation of current and former Amazon employees that successfully unionised a Staten Island warehouse, known as JFK8, earlier this year, is seeking to represent the workers at the warehouse, which is located in Moreno Valley, California.
It would be the first time workers at an Amazon plant in California had a vote on whether to join a union, should an election at ONT8 be permitted by the National Labor Relations Board.
A NLRB spokesman, Kayla Blado, confirmed that ONT8 organisers submitted a petition to the organisation on Tuesday for a planned unit of 800 workers. Before verifying that the group has secured a showing of interest, which would signal that it has met the necessary threshold for employee signatures, Blado said the NLRB is awaiting additional documents from the union.
The petition was submitted, according to ALU leader Chris Smalls, who also commended the workers for taking action to organise their workplace in a tweet. “More information to follow,” he added.
An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by Amazon representatives.
The action contributes to a recent rise in labour organisation among Amazon employees. The landmark vote at Amazon’s JFK8 warehouse served as the catalyst for subsequent unionisation efforts at other sites, including one close to Albany, where workers will start casting ballots on Wednesday to decide whether to join the ALU. On October 17, voting will be completed, and on October 18, the NLRB will begin calculating the votes.
ONT8 is a section of the Inland Empire, an area east of Los Angeles that has seen significant growth from e-commerce giants like Amazon. Recent years have seen a tremendous expansion of warehouses and distribution hubs, prompting worries about pollution and other environmental effects.
With around 40,000 employees, Amazon is the largest private employer in the area. By the end of 2021, the corporation had more than 1.6 million employees worldwide.
Recently, employees at a significant Amazon air hub in nearby San Bernardino staged a strike to demand pay raises and draw attention to safety issues. They promised to strike once more this week, in time for Amazon’s fall Prime Day sale, along with workers at plants in Georgia and Illinois, to pressure the corporation to address employee concerns about working conditions.