Amazon workers arrive with paperwork to unionize at the National Labor Relations Board office in Brooklyn, New York on October 25, 2021.

Brandon McDermid | Reuters

The Amazon labor union, the first group of company workers to organize in a U.S. warehouse, said Tuesday it has taken steps to affiliate with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Formed in 2021 as a grassroots group of current and former workers, ALU gained national attention two years ago by winning a historic union election at a facility known as JFK8 in Staten Island, New York.

The ALU originally abandoned the major labor unions, establishing itself as an independent organization instead. But the group has struggled to negotiate a deal. Amazon, which attempted to toss the 2022 election results, and led to differences between leader Chris Smalls and ALU members. A group of former members sued the union last year, Blaming him for violating the ALU constitution and forcing a Brooklyn court to hold an election of union officers.

Aligning with the Teamsters, one of America’s largest labor unions, could give ALU additional support to begin negotiations with Amazon. The Teamsters, formed in 1903, have long sought to organize Amazon’s warehouse and delivery workers, and in 2021 formed an Amazon division to support the company’s workers in their unionization efforts.

I A post on xThe union’s board unanimously approved the merger on Tuesday, the Teamsters said. Smalls said in a text message that the affiliation agreement is temporary until the ALU and the Teamsters vote to ratify it.

The decision has already generated pushback from the ALU Democratic Reform Caucus, the group that sued ALU last year. Arthur Schwartz, an attorney for the caucus, said it was unclear how the ALU would hold a membership vote to ratify the Teamsters’ affiliation when it “doesn’t have an employee list, much less a membership list.”

In March, ALU members voted to hold elections for new union officers. Smalls has said he does not intend to seek re-election as ALU president. The election is expected to be held in person outside JFK8 in July, Schwartz said.

The Teamsters declined to comment further. An Amazon spokesperson also declined to comment.

Watch: Amazon’s first U.S. union faces an uphill battle after a historic win.





Source link