amazon canada, workers unions, teamsters, amazon.com, canada, amazon, union, workers

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

The Teamstersworkers' union has launched campaigns to organise employees in at least nine Canadian facilities of US e-commerce company Amazon.com, according to Reuters interviews with union officials.
The influential union took the first step earlier this week to organise employees at one of Amazon's Canadian facilities, and the interviews reveal it is widening such efforts across the country, where the e-commerce company employs about 25,000 workers and plans to add 15,000 more.
The campaigns could be seen as a bet by the Teamsters that early success unionising employees in a more labor-friendly market such as Canada will inspire similar results south of the border, where Amazon has so far fended off unionisation attempts.
In the latest challenge to Amazon's anti-unionisation stance, Edmonton, Alberta's Teamsters Local Union 362 filed for a vote on union representation at a company fulfillment center in nearby Nisku late on Monday.
Interviews with Teamsters units in other cities and provinces show that the union's efforts stretch from the Pacific coastal province of British Columbia to the Canadian economic heartland in southern Ontario.
The Teamsters' Edmonton unit says it has enough signed cards calling for a union to meet the 40% threshold to require a vote. Two of the union's units in Ontario and one in Alberta have confirmed they are signing membership cards with Amazon workers.
And two of the five units that confirmed to Reuters that they are organizing said they are running campaigns at multiple sites, bringing the total Amazon facilities involved in some level of organizing to at least nine.
"Any locals that have an Amazon facility in their area are doing an organizing campaign," Jim Killey, an organizer with Teamsters Local 879 near Hamilton, Ontario, told Reuters.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Earlier in the week Amazon Canada spokesperson Dave Bauer said in an emailed statement: "As a company, we don't think unions are the best answer for our employees."
Unions would prevent the company from changing quickly to meet employees' needs and represent "the voices of a select few," he added.
The Teamsters say they can help the workers win better wages and benefits, such as leaves of absence.
SLEEPING IN THEIR CARS
Unionization votes in Canada do not have any direct bearing on the United States, but they could raise enthusiasm, said John Logan, a labor professor at San Francisco State University.
"Organizing at a place like Amazon requires workers to take a certain amount of risk," Logan said. "If they can look to other places and see that that risk has paid off for other workers, then they are far more inclined to do it themselves."
Union members are going to great lengths to connect with Amazon workers, sleeping in their cars to catch the employees after graveyard shifts and forging ties at local churches.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which has more than a million members in the United States and Canada, has made organizing Amazon a top priority, describing it as an "existential threat."
Amazon does not have any unionized facilities in North America. The Teamsters is one of a handful of unions trying to undertake the daunting task of organizing its vast, high-churn workforce.
Earlier this year, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) lost a vote to organize workers in Bessemer, Alabama, by a more than two-to-one margin. Amazon pushed hard against unionization, and the result is being disputed.
The Teamsters have indicated they will not seek to hold such votes in the United States any time soon, arguing the process is unfairly tilted toward employers.
But in Canada, where labor laws are more favorable, the Teamsters see an opportunity to go straight to the ballot box.
The Teamsters' Killey said his chapter is campaigning at Amazon facilities in Milton, Cambridge and Kitchener, all traditionally working-class towns just west of Toronto, Canada's most populous city.
"Where we see there is a lot of support, we're going to go full steam ahead," said Christopher Monette, spokesperson for Teamsters Canada.
Jason Sweet, president of Teamsters Local 419 in Ontario, said his unit has begun signing cards with workers in the greater Toronto area and has formed WhatsApp groups with Amazon workers to keep them abreast of the union's efforts, delivering updates every 48 hours or so. "We are trying to build relationships from the inside," he said.
In British Columbia, Teamsters Local 31 President Stan Hennessy said potential members have been receptive.
"It's our hope that we can help these workers," he said. "They certainly can use some help."

Internet Explorer Channel Network


LATEST NEWS

NEWS RELATED

Turn your Instant Pot into an air fryer with this cheap accessory

Instant Pots are a must-have in the modern kitchen. They’re smart, versatile, and super convenient to use. You can safely brew a soup or stew while you do other things around the house, run errands, or even while you’re at work. If you don’t even have an Instant Pot yet…

Read more: Turn your Instant Pot into an air fryer with this cheap accessory

How long is the Amazon return window for the Holidays 2021 shopping season?

It’s here. The early Black Friday deals have officially kicked off, which means it’s the perfect opportunity to grab everything you need or want at an amazing price, and beat the holiday rush! With supply chain issues, shipping delays, and low inventory just about everywhere, there’s no telling what kind…

Read more: How long is the Amazon return window for the Holidays 2021 shopping season?

Amazon's Self-Driving Company Zoox to Begin Testing Autonomous Vehicles in Seattle

(Photo : Pixabay/PhotoMIX-Company) EV Zoox Amazon’s autonomous vehicle startup, Zoox, is set to launch its service in Seattle, Washington. Amazon bought the self-driving vehicle company in 2020.  The e-commerce giants plan to open its office and facility next year, which will act as a base for its testing. Amazon’s Zoox…

Read more: Amazon's Self-Driving Company Zoox to Begin Testing Autonomous Vehicles in Seattle

Amazon Music's spatial audio now works on any headphones

Amazon It’ll be easier for subscribers to listen to music with spatial audio starting today. You can now use any headphones to listen to songs with Dolby Atmos and via supported devices. Those include iOS, Android, some other Alexa Cast devices and Sony soundbars and home theater speakers with 360…

Read more: Amazon Music's spatial audio now works on any headphones

Amazon-owned Zoox to start testing its autonomous vehicles in Seattle

Amazon Zoox Zoox has been testing its Level-3 (L3) autonomous vehicles in Las Vegas and the Bay Area for four years, way before Amazon acquired the self-driving company in 2020. But to be able to train its technology further, it has to hold trials in other locations with different environmental…

Read more: Amazon-owned Zoox to start testing its autonomous vehicles in Seattle

Deals of the day in Amazon sale: Samsung Galaxy M32, Apple iPhone 11, Redmi TV and more

Amazon Great India Festival sale has entered its third week and its ‘Extra Happiness Days’ running. The etailer has partnered with IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank and Citi Bank to offer attractive cashbacks. Everyday, the ecommerce giant offers special deals on certain products. These deals are listed under the ‘Deals of…

Read more: Deals of the day in Amazon sale: Samsung Galaxy M32, Apple iPhone 11, Redmi TV and more

Amazon Denies Using Seller Data to Copy Products, Lawmakers Give Them Deadline to Prove It

Amazon has denied that it uses seller data to copy products from third-party sellers and lawmakers have now given them a deadline to provide evidence that proves their claims.  Amazon has also been accused of manipulating search results to prioritize its own products, which the tech giant also denies.  The…

Read more: Amazon Denies Using Seller Data to Copy Products, Lawmakers Give Them Deadline to Prove It

US bill would stop Big Tech favoring its own products

About a dozen U.S. senators from both parties on Monday formally introduced a bill that would bar Big Tech platforms, like Amazon and Alphabet’s Google, from favoring their products and services.The bill follows others introduced with the goal of reining in the outsized market power of tech firms, including industry…

Read more: US bill would stop Big Tech favoring its own products

The best Amazon TV deals and sales for October 2021

Amazon accused of lying about its business practices to Congress

Deals of the day in Amazon sale: Apple iPhone 12 Pro, OnePlus TV, Xiaomi phone and more

Best Black Friday Smart Home Deals 2021: What to expect

Jabra's wireless earbuds are up to 40 percent off at Amazon for today only

WK Life expands retail footprint, 30% product to be locally manufactured by Q1 2022

Deals of the day in Amazon sale: Apple Watch, Redmi smartphone, Lenovo laptop and more

Hitting the Books: How Amazon's aggressive R&D push made it an e-commerce behemoth

OTHER NEWS