Amazon workers at Moreno Valley warehouse file for union election, a first in California

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Amazon workers at a fulfillment center in Moreno Valley, California, filed a petition for a union election, the National Labor Relations Board confirmed Tuesday.

It's the first time workers at an Amazon facility in California have formally sought a election. They are seeking to join the upstart Amazon Labor Union, which mounted the first successful unionization effort at any Amazon warehouse in the United States when it won the vote at JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island, New York, on April 1.

NLRB spokesperson Kayla Blado said the board's Region 21-Los Angeles office received an election petition but is waiting for additional required paperwork from the union before it can confirm enough union cards have been collected and signed in order for the NLRB to move forward with the election process.

Organizers pushing for the union need signed union cards from at least 30% of workers in the 800- unit that the Amazon Labor Union is seeking to represent.

Nannette Plascencia, a longtime worker at ONT8, announced the union drive last month. She formed the committee United 4 Change ONT8 during the pandemic to advocate for better wages and safer conditions.

Plascencia, who has worked at ONT8 for nearly eight years, said there is a core group of about 10 workers who are pushing for the union. She said the group has not finished tabulating signed union cards.

The union win at JFK8 is still being litigated through an appeals process. Amazon filed objections requesting a new election, which an NLRB hearing officer ruled against. Amazon appealed the decision to the labor board's regional director.

At another New York facility, called LDJ5, workers voted against joining the Amazon Labor Union a month after the election at JFK8.

Amazon workers at ALB1 facility in Albany, New York, filed a petition for a union election with the federal board in August. The is scheduled to begin Wednesday.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company has repeatedly said it discourages unions as it aims to work directly with employees rather than negotiate with what it describes as a third party.

"As a company, we don't think unions are the best answer for our employees," Amazon spokesperson Paul Flaningan said last month of the union push at the Moreno Valley warehouse.

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