Amazon warehouse workers in New York City plan to file for a union election, Vice reported Thursday. The employees said they will petition for an election before the National Labor Relations Board next week.
The workers include those at Amazon's Staten Island facilities. The Amazon Labor Union said more than 2,000 people have signed union authorization cards, and at least 100 of them are now part of a worker's committee.
The company has seen pockets of activism in recent months. Amazon workers in Alabama have tried their hand at unionization earlier this year, but those efforts were struck down. Before that, workers in Chicago staged a walkout to demand better working conditions and hours, and that group hoped at the time to form a union. A local Teamsters union in Iowa has also taken part in unionization efforts.
Unionization is an uphill battle for Staten Island workers, who have already been told by Amazon not to do so. But if the vote goes through, they would be the first in the United States to do so against Amazon.
Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told Protocol that employees have a choice to unionize, but the company doesn't think unions are best for employees. "Every day we empower people to find ways to improve their jobs, and when they do that we want to make those changes quickly. That type of continuous improvement is harder to do quickly and nimbly with unions in the middle."