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Unifor pauses efforts to unionize Amazon facilities in Vancouver, cites ‘suspiciously high’ number of employees

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April 17, 2024
By Talent Canada

Amazon building in Santa Clara, Calif. Photo: Adobe Stock

Unifor is temporarily pausing its effort to unionize two Amazon fulfillment centers in Metro Vancouver.

The union said its temporarily withdrawing its applications to the B.C. Labour Relations Board (BCLRB) due to what it called a “suspiciously high” number of reported employees.

“Make no mistake: workers at Amazon in Metro Vancouver are closer than ever to successfully forming a union,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “The number of workers provided by Amazon is suspiciously high, but with this information we know precisely what our next steps are to help these workers form their union.”

B.C. law doesn’t compel employers to provide any information about the number of workers onsite during a union drive, leaving unions to guess the threshold of signed cards they ought to meet before applying to the BCLRB for certification, it said.


“We’re not going anywhere. Unifor is committed to the hundreds of workers at Amazon who have signed a confidential union card and will re-double our efforts in the coming weeks,” McGarrigle said.

Unifor has repeatedly called for changes to the B.C. Labour Relations Code to improve employer transparency during the unionization process, including in its recent submission to the labour code review.

“When working people are up against giant, well-funded multinational employers, we need more tools to help level the playing field,” said McGarrigle. “Transparency is not too much to ask. The B.C. government should close this loophole as soon as possible.”

After hundreds of workers at the two facilities signed confidential union cards, Unifor applied to the BCLRB on April 10 to certify the unit. Unifor’s awareness campaign at Amazon facilities began on June 21, 2023. Card-signing began on October 19, 2023.

Workers at an Amazon facility first formed a union in April 2022 at the “JFK8” distribution centre on Staten Island in New York State.

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