An Amazon warehouse 12 miles southeast of Albany, New York, could be the company’s second job site to unionize, with 400 workers set to vote on whether to join the Amazon Labor Union in mid-October.
One of the workers leading the unionization drive in the town of Schodack, who has worked at the warehouse for two years, claimed she and many of her coworkers are not making much more than $16 per hour, roughly $8 above the federal minimum wage.
“It’s ludicrous to live on that wage with this cost of living. Some of these workers are the only breadwinners in their household, and they have three children, and to pay for food, gas, and car maintenance, the numbers don’t add up,” Kimberly Lane stated.
Lane went on to explain that worker safety is another issue that has prompted workers to organize.
“It seems that every day, somebody gets injured,” she claimed.
For the company’s part, Amazon spokesperson Paul Flanigan stated, “We’ve always said that we want our employees to have their voices heard, and we hope and expect this process allows for that.”
However, Amazon officials have questioned whether union organizers at the Schodack warehouse actually gathered the required number of “legitimate signatures” to trigger a union election.
The company claimed it takes workers’ safety concerns seriously and has already moved to implement new systems for its workers’ benefit.
Flanigan stated, “The safety and wellbeing of our employees at ALB1 and across the company are our highest priority. Across our network, we’ve invested billions of dollars in new safety measures and technologies to protect our employees.”
The unionization vote next month comes in the wake of the first successful unionization drive at an Amazon facility in the United States, in Staten Island, New York, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.