Employees work on the inbound line at the Amazon fulfillment center in Phoenix on Dec. 2
Amazon.com’s (AMZN) labor problems have mostly been confined to the online retailer’s warehouses in countries such as Germany—until now. For the first time, employees in a U.S. Amazon facility have successfully petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to hold union elections.
On Dec. 6, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), a trade union of the AFL-CIO, filed a union election petition with the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of 30 equipment maintenance and repair technicians working at the year-old Amazon fulfillment center in Middletown, Del. The fact that the petition was filed suggests, according to the union, that it has interest from at least a majority of those 30 workers, who are seeking to vote on whether to hold elections to establish a union.
According to John Carr, a spokesman for the IAMAW, Amazon and the union have now reached an agreement to go forward with this election. It will be held on Jan. 15 in a conference room at the Delaware facility; only members of the group of 30 technicians will be allowed to vote. The vast majority of workers at the year-old facility—more than 1,500 pickers and packers who move products from shelves into boxes and trucks—will not vote, nor will they be covered by the union if...