Share
Preview
Alberta Amazon workers will soon vote to join Teamsters
 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
 
September 17, 2021
 

Hey Shift Workers,

Teamsters union organizers are sleeping in cars to connect with Amazon workers after graveyard shifts and ask them to sign union cards as part of a cross-Canada union drive that so far includes 9 warehouses.

Workers at Alberta's Edmonton warehouse have already met the 40% union card threshold and are ready to hold a vote. The date has yet to be confirmed. If successful, the warehouse could be the first Amazon facility to unionize in North America.

Success will not come easy. A high profile Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union Amazon drive in Bessemer, Alabama was ultimately unsuccessful last April. Amazon literally pulled out all the stops to bust the union attempt, including changing the timing of traffic lights outside the warehouse so organizers had less time to speak with workers in vehicles.

Labour laws are different in Canada, however, as employer interference in a union drive is illegal. Teamsters organizers hope this will even the playing field -- although labour law enforcement is weak and Amazon has powerful legal team.

Amazon also announced it would add 15,000 jobs across Canada and give an immediate wage hike for front line workers, perhaps hoping to deter workers with a carrot instead of a stick.

The Teamsters Amazon drive marks a historic moment for the Canadian labour movement - and Shift Work will be here every week to keep you updated.

- Emily

 
 
 
 
Spotlight
 
 
Confrontation Between Struggling Worker and Brampton Conservative Candidate Goes Viral on Social Media
Conservative candidate threatens legal action after viral video shows confrontation with worker over allegations of withheld wages.
 
 
Here’s What Canada’s 3 Major Parties’ Climate Platforms Mean for Workers
How are parties proposing to transition to a green economy without leaving workers behind?
 
 
Top Headlines
 
Participants share stories at CBC's The Current healthcare townhall in Nova Scotia, via CBC.
 

  • CBC’s The Current hosted a heart-wrenching town hall in Nova Scotia about the state of Canadian healthcare in rural areas. "This is our state of emergency right now," one nurse said. "It’s not the pandemic anymore, it's our healthcare."



  • Jason Kenney's UCP government has withdrawn its wage cut demands for Alberta nurses, as requested by a mediator, but other cuts remain on the table.


  • Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe used emergency powers to reallocate health care workers to respond to skyrocketing COVID cases. Unions denounced Moe's "heavy hand" for disrupting health care bargaining.

  • 250 Globe and Mail workers and Unifor members narrowly avoided a strike on Wednesday, obtaining a tentative agreement hours before the midnight deadline.

  • The federal government must close the loophole that allowed Laurentian University to use private-sector restructuring laws to eliminate 60 programs and 100 jobs, argues Trent University proffesroe Sue Wurtele.

  • After 18 months of protest, BC hospitality workers with Unite Here Local 40 have secured a new contract with Hospitality Industrial Relations extending recall rights. However, Hilton Metrotown and Pacific Gateway hotels have not budged and their workers remain locked out.

  • 11,000 Quebec child care workers announced they will strike September 24, seeking wage increases and resources for children with special needs.

 
New Organizing
 
Maggie's Toronto Sex Workers Action Project workers recently unionized. Photo via Maggie's Toronto.
 

  • Ontario's Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library workers unionized with CUPE.

  • Maggie's Toronto Sex Workers Action Project unionized with CUPE last week. The workers spoke to NowToronto about the importance of including sex workers in the labour movement.

 
Picket Shifts
 
2,000 CSN affiliated hotel workers across Quebec on strike September 17, 2021.
 

  • 2,000 CSN-affiliated hotel workers from a dozen hotels across Quebec have coordinated a strike for wage increases.


  • Municipal workers in Grand Falls, Newfoundland have been locked out since July 15.


  • BC hotel workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 40, remain locked out of Pacific Gateway and Hilton Metrotown hotel chains, fighting for extended recall rights.

  • BC construction workers with IBEW 213 have been on strike for two years fighting union-buster Ledcor.

 
 
Before You Go...
 
Photo of a New York delivery worker by Philip Montgomery for The Verge,
 

  • New York app-based delivery workers fight their "phantom boss," deter bike thieves and form support networks in this gripping feature by Josh Dzieza for The Verge.

 
Events
 
 

  • September 21, 12 AM- 12 PM: Harbinger Media Network's Twitch telethon fundraiser will showcase progressive Canadian podcasts and journalism. Stephen and I will represent PressProgress at 4 PM CT - join us!


  • September 22, 10 AM MT: Public Interest Alberta AGM &  Keynote with Yanis Varoufakis. AGM begins at 1 PM MT.



 
 
Shift Work Culture
 
Photo via WWE.
 

Are WWE wrestlers misclassified as independent contractors? Listen to legal experts weigh in here.

IATSE film workers are gearing up for the first possible industry-wide strike in the union's history. One big issue is rates and benefits for streaming projects.

The 2021 Canadian Labour International Film Festival lineup and coordinator packages have been released for groups or individuals interested in hosting their own virtual screenings.

 
Shift Work is produced by: