Amazon Labor Union (ALU) organizer Christian Smalls and ALU members celebrate official victory after hearing the results of the pro-union vote, outside the offices of the NLRB in Brooklyn, New York.Brendan McDermid/Reuters

  • Amazon Labor Union supporters celebrated their victory at the NLRB in New York.

  • Organizer Christian Smalls thanked former CEO Jeff Bezos for going to space.

  • “When he was up there, we were signing people up,” Smalls said.

Amazon Labor Union organizer Christian Smalls wants to thank Jeff Bezos – for going to space.

The former Amazon employee spearheaded the first successful effort to unionize an Amazon warehouse, which solidified after the National Labor Relations Board concluded the vote count on Friday.

Outside the NLRB offices in Brooklyn, Smalls pulled out a bottle of champagne and said “first Amazon union in history.” The warehouse is in Staten Island, New York, and is known as JFK8.

“We want to thank Jeff Bezos for going to space because when he was up there we were signing people up,” Smalls said. “We were here to get signatures.”

Smalls was referring to Bezos’ flight with his space company Blue Origin in July.

“I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you paid for all of this,” Bezos said after the theft.

The NLRB completed the vote count on Friday morning. Workers submitted 2,654 votes for and 2,131 against joining the Amazon Labor Union, a new group founded by Smalls. The ALU is working to unionize another Staten Island warehouse, which will vote in the coming weeks.

Amazon fought vigorously to prevent its warehouses from unionizing. In a blog post, the company said it was “disappointed” with Friday’s vote and plans to submit an objection related to the conduct of the election to a federal labor panel.

Smalls became a vocal advocate for Amazon workers over coronavirus safety measures in March 2020 and was fired the same month for what the company called an unrelated event.

In a leaked memo obtained by Vice in 2020, an Amazon layer told Jeff Bezos that Smalls was “not smart, not articulate, and to the extent that the press wants to focus on us rather than him. , we’ll be in a much stronger PR position.”

Smalls has remained optimistic about the union’s prospects throughout the recruiting months.

“We’ve never seen a campaign like this before. We’re not a traditional union. We don’t have the resources. We started from scratch with nothing,” Smalls told Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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