Amazon's NY union moves closer to a win, count continues

By Doyinsola Oladipo and Nivedita Balu

(Reuters) -Organized labor supporters at an Amazon.com facility in New York City's Staten Island on Friday moved closer to securing a victory by maintaining a lead of hundreds of votes in a contest to form a union.

A win of the would mean Staten Island is Amazon's first U.S. facility to form a labor union. Counting continues.

When voting concluded for the day on Thursday, those workers who favored establishing the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) at the fulfillment center known as JFK8 maintained a 57-percent edge over those who voted against organizing.

The tally, which so far stands at 2,114 to 1,650 in favor of forming a union, is expected to conclude Friday, according to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB is overseeing the election.

A victory for organized labor at the second-largest U.S. private employer would be a historic first for the retailing behemoth in the United States and a milestone for labor advocates, who for years have considered Amazon's labor practices a threat to workers.

When voting concluded for the day on Thursday, those workers who favored establishing the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) at the fulfillment center known as JFK8 maintained a 57-percent edge over those who voted against organizing.

Also on Thursday, 53% of Amazon workers in Alabama rejected unionization, in a still-not final outcome.

The Alabama contest could hinge on 416 challenged ballots to be adjudicated in the coming weeks, which are sufficient to change the result, said the NLRB. The situation is far different from last year when workers sided with Amazon by a more than 2-to-1 margin against unionizing.

There are 67 contested ballots in the Staten Island contest, a figure not likely to determine the outcome of the election.

Shares of Amazon rose 1.4% in midday trading.

(Additional reporting by Danielle Kaye; Writing by Anna Driver; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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