A Canadian union is attempting to represent employees of an Amazon distribution centre. This means that the staff of the centre in Nisku can vote whether they want to.
Tech company Amazon strongly opposes unions and tries to keep them out. Earlier this year, this was done at a distribution centre in the US state of Alabama.
Since then, former CEO and founder of the online store Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon would try to become the best employer possible. His successor Andy Jassy raised the minimum wages paid by Amazon in the United States and Canada, although that also has to do with the shortage of personnel there. As a result, companies must make themselves as attractive as possible as employers.
Canadian Teamsters union president François Laporte does not believe that Amazon, which has repeatedly been discredited because of the harsh working conditions for distribution centres and delivery staff in particular, will do much on its own to improve the situation of its staff. “Amazon won’t change without a union,” he thinks. “This company has proven to be anti-employee in the past.”
An Amazon spokesperson says Canadian employees have a free choice to be represented by a union. “As a company, we don’t think that a union is a solution.” In Alabama, staff had to attend mandatory anti-union presentations. In Canada, Amazon has less room to instil its ideas about unions on its staff.