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Amazon May Get Its First Labor Union in the U.S.

Technicians in Delaware will vote on whether to organize
Employees work on the inbound line at the Amazon fulfillment center in Phoenix on Dec. 2
Employees work on the inbound line at the Amazon fulfillment center in Phoenix on Dec. 2Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Amazon.com’s 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.