Quebec’s labour tribunal green-lights first Amazon union in Canada

Workers at Amazon’s DXT4 warehouse in Laval, Que., can unionize, says the province’s labour tribunal. The CSN (Confédération des syndicats nationaux) gave its ruling on Friday. The CSN says that employees are dissatisfied by what they claim is a hectic work pace, low wages, and inadequate health and safety measures. Amazon says it will contest the decision in a hearing set for June 10. If a union is formed, it will be the first Amazon fulfilment centre to unionize in Canada, where the company has some 25 such facilities.

Barbara M. Agrait, an Amazon spokesperson, sent her company’s official statement to Hardlines: “We believe it’s important for all employees to have their voices heard, but card check auto-certification does the opposite. For example, if someone joins a union at a previous employer or before being hired by Amazon, the law assumes they want that union to represent them at any future employer – whether they actually want that or not. And if a simple majority of people at an employer have joined a union at any point (whether while there or at a previous company), then there’s no vote and representation is automatic for all employees – including maybe dozens or hundreds of employees who didn’t even know it was being considered. We believe everyone should have the right to get informed and vote based on their current circumstances and beliefs – just like they do in any other type of election.”