Amazon workers in Quebec form the company’s first Canadian union

Employees at a Laval warehouse say they deal with hectic work schedules, poor wages and insufficient health and safety measures

Amazon workers in Quebec have formed the company’s first union in Canada.

Employees at Amazon’s DXT4 warehouse in Laval, a suburb north of Montreal, had been working to unionize with the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) for two years. They cited hectic work schedules, poor wages and insufficient health and safety measures as reasons for the unionization push.

Now, Quebec’s Administrative Labour Tribunal was given Amazon group union accreditation on May 10th, meaning 200 employees are now represented by CSN. The organization represents roughly 330,000 workers in various industries across Canada.

Speaking to CBC News, CSN president Caroline Senneville said Amazon’s business model “exploits vulnerable workers since many of them are immigrants.” Amazon, for its part, has previously Amazon has previously argued that it doesn’t set fixed productivity targets for employees and provides them with safe workspaces, competitive pay, health benefits and more.

With the accreditation, the union says Amazon is legally required to negotiate with the Laval workers on a new contract, although it’s expecting Amazon to appeal the tribunal’s decision. Indeed, Amazon had written to the tribunal last week to argue that union accreditation would not “respect the interests of its employees.” The company also claimed that workers who signed union cards were misled and some sections of Quebec’s labour code go against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

For now, the CSN can proceed by appointing a president, drafting bylaws to negotiate a collective agreement and producing a list of demands. Amazon, meanwhile, is no doubt preparing to fight the union legally at every step.

While the Laval workers are part of Amazon’s inaugural Canadian union, the company’s first-ever union was formed in 2022 at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York. Further unionization pushes were seen across the U.S. and Europe, although Amazon was accused of actively working to prevent all of these efforts through various intimidation tactics.

Source: CSN Via: CBC

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