Alberta Amazon workers will soon vote to join Teamsters
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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

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