According to interviews with union representatives, union truck drivers have launched a campaign to organize employees in at least nine Canadian factories of American e-commerce company Amazon.
Earlier this week, this influential union took the first step by organizing workers in Amazon’s Canadian office. Interviews revealed that it is expanding this effort across the country, where the e-commerce company hires Approximately 25,000 employees have been established, and an additional 15,000 employees are planned in the near future.
Teamsters can view these activities as a bet that early successful unions in a more work-friendly market like Canada will produce similar results south of the border, where Amazon has so far blocked union attempts.
In the latest challenge to Amazon’s anti-union stance, the local union of truck drivers in Alberta 362 Edmonton asked on Monday night for union representatives to vote at a company fulfillment center in nearby Nisku. 4,444 interviews with truck driver units in other cities and provinces revealed that the union’s efforts extend from British Columbia on the Pacific coast to the economic center of southern Ontario, Canada.
The Edmonton Truck Drivers Division stated that they have enough signature cards to call on the union to reach the 40% threshold to vote. Two units of the union in Ontario and one unit in Alberta have confirmed that they are signing membership cards with Amazon employees.
confirmed that two of the five entities they were organizing stated that they were campaigning in multiple locations, bringing the total number of Amazon facilities participating in the organization to at least nine.
Jim Killey, the organizer of Teamsters Local 879 near Hamilton, Ontario stated, “All locals who have Amazon facilities near them are carrying out an organization activity.”
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Earlier this week, Amazon Canada spokesperson Dave Bauer said in an email, “As a company, we believe that unions are not the best choice for our employees.”
Union’s will prevent companies from changing quickly to meet demand. Added that it represents “the voice of a minority.”
Teamsters said they can help workers get better wages and benefits, such as taking leave. San Francisco State University incumbent professor John Logan said that Canada’s 4,444 union votes have no direct impact on the United States, but they may cause a sensation.
“Organizing work in places like Amazon requires employees to take some risks,” Logan said. “If they look elsewhere and find that this risk has paid off for other workers, then they are more inclined to do it themselves.”
The union members spared no effort to establish contact with Amazon workers and sleep in their cars to catch up. After the staff’s cemetery was transferred, contact with the local church was established.
The International Brotherhood of Truck Drivers, with more than 1 million members in the United States and Canada, has made Amazon’s organization a top priority and described it as an “existential threat.”
Amazon has no union facilities in North America. Teamsters is one of the few unions trying to take on the arduous task of organizing a large, fluctuating workforce.
Earlier this year, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) lost more than 2 to 1 in a vote of workers organized by Bessemer, Alabama. Amazon vigorously opposed the formation of labor unions, and the results were controversial.
Teamsters stated that they do not expect to hold such polls in the United States anytime soon because the process is wrongly oriented towards employers.
But in Canada, where labor laws are more favorable, truck drivers saw an opportunity to enter the ballot box directly.
Killey of The Teamsters said his chapter is campaigning at Amazon’s factories in Milton, Cambridge and Kitchener, which are traditional working-class towns west of Toronto, Canada’s most populous city.
“Where we see a lot of support, we will do our best,” said Christopher Monette, a spokesperson for Canadian Truck Drivers.
Jason Sweet, president of Teamsters Local 419 in Ontario, said that his department has begun signing cards with workers in the Greater Toronto Area and forming a WhatsApp group with Amazon employees to let them know the latest work of the union and provide updates every 48 hours or so. Stating that Amazon workers “Could use some help.”