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Union application to represent Amazon warehouse workers in Laval, Quebec certified

May 15, 2024
The Canadian Press

The Amazon DXT4 warehouse is seen in Laval, Que., Monday, April 22, 2024. A Quebec-based union says its application to represent hundreds of Amazon.com Inc. workers at a warehouse in the province has been certified by the province's Administrative Labour Tribunal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

A Quebec-based union says its application to represent around 200 Amazon.com Inc. workers has been certified by the province’s Administrative Labour Tribunal.

It’s the first time in Canada that employees have unionized at an Amazon warehouse, said the Confédération des syndicats nationaux in a press release on Monday.

Workers at the DXT4 warehouse in Laval will hold their first general assembly to adopt a constitution and bylaws and elect representatives in the coming days, the union said. It will then launch a consultation with its members to prepare a list of contract demands.

Union president Caroline Senneville said the Laval workers “have given us all a lesson in courage.”

“Over the past few months, Amazon has pulled out all the stops to block our unionization campaign, flooding the workplace with scaremongering messages,” Senneville said.

Amazon spokeswoman Barbara Agrait said in an email the company is challenging the labour board’s decision on Friday to certify the union.

She said the company takes issue with card-check certification, where a union application can be certified without a vote if a majority of workers at the workplace sign a union card. Not all provinces have card-check certification, but Quebec and British Columbia are among those that do.

“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,” said Agrait.

Amazon employees have the right to choose whether or not to be in a union, but the company doesn’t think unions are the best option for its employees, she said.

The Confédération des syndicats nationaux represents 330,000 workers across a wide array of industries in Quebec and across Canada.

In April, Unifor filed applications to represent workers at two Amazon warehouses in New Westminster and Delta, B.C.

However, it subsequently withdrew its applications and accused the e-commerce giant of providing a “suspiciously high” employee count.

At the time, the company said it’s confident it provided accurate and complete information.

Unifor promised to re-double its efforts to unionize the two fulfilment centres.

“Make no mistake: workers at Amazon in Metro Vancouver are closer than ever to successfully forming a union,” said Unifor western regional director Gavin McGarrigle in an April 16 press release.

Unifor first announced the union drive for Amazon workers in Metro Vancouver last July, and said workers began signing cards in October.

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