Amazon union joins Teamsters


The independent grass roots Amazon Labor Union (ALU)— the only labor organization to ever win a union election at an Amazon warehouse — is moving to affiliate with the 1.3 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The affiliation agreement was signed June 3, and Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien announced it at a June 4 meeting of the Teamsters General Executive Board. The Teamsters board voted unanimously to approve the affiliation agreement, which became effective once ALU members ratified it as of June 17.

ALU represents about 8,300 workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Staten Island, New York. Workers there voted to unionize in April 2022, but still don’t have a first union contract two years later. Amazon has refused to recognize the union and continues to appeal the result of the election.

“Amazon is far and away the greediest of American corporations,” O’Brien said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “It does the most harm to American workers in delivery and logistics. In this partnership, the Teamsters and ALU will ensure Amazon workers at JFK8 realize the first contract they are long overdue.”

“Today is an historic day for labor in America as we now combine forces with one of the most powerful unions in the country to take on Amazon together,” said ALU President Chris Smalls.

Since the Staten Island win, ALU has struggled to expand. It lost a May 2022 election at another Amazon warehouse on Staten Island by 380-618, and a October 2022 election at an Amazon warehouse near Albany, New York by 206-406.

The Teamsters announced their intent to organize Amazon workers in 2021, and hope to turn last year’s strong contract win among UPS’s 340,000 union members into momentum for organizing.


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