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

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MONTREAL — A Quebec-based union says its bid to represent about 200 Amazon.com Inc. workers has been upheld by the province's administrative labor tribunal.

MONTREAL — A Quebec-based union says its bid to represent about 200 Amazon.com Inc. workers has been upheld by the province's administrative labor tribunal.

It was the first time in Canada that employees in an Amazon warehouse had organized a union, the Confédération des syndicats nationaux said in a press release on Monday.

Workers at the DXT4 warehouse in Laval will hold their first general meeting in the coming days to adopt a charter and bylaws and elect representatives, the union said. It will then launch a consultation with its members to draw up a list of contract requirements.

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

“Amazon has pulled out all stops to block our union campaign over the past few months, flooding the workplace with fear-mongering messages,” Senneville said.

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

She said the company objects to antitrust certification, which allows a union petition to be approved without a vote if a majority of workers in 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 be informed and to vote based on their current circumstances and beliefs – just like in any other type of election,” Agrait said.

Amazon employees have the right to decide whether or not to join a union, but the company does not believe unions are the best option for its employees, she said.

The Confédération des syndicats nationaux represents 330,000 workers in a wide range 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 stating a “suspiciously high” number of employees.

At the time, the company said it was confident it had provided accurate and complete information.

Unifor promised to redouble its efforts to unionize the two fulfillment centers.

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

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

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2024.

The Canadian Press