Teamsters launches campaign to organize at 9 Amazon facilities in Canada: report

Teamsters launches campaign to organize at 9 Amazon facilities in Canada: report
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The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is reportedly launching a campaign to organize workers in at least nine Amazon facilities across Canada, as the tech giant resists unionization efforts in the U.S.

Union officials this week told Reuters about their nationwide plans, which include working with warehouse employees in Alberta who filed for a labor union election on Monday through the Teamsters Local Union 362.

The campaign reportedly covers several Amazon facilities from the Pacific coastal province of British Columbia to southern Ontario, with one local Teamsters organizer telling Reuters, “Any locals that have an Amazon facility in their area are doing an organizing campaign.”

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The Hill has reached out to Teamsters Canada for comment.

Amazon employs around 25,000 workers in Canada, with the company planning to add 15,000 in the near future, according to Reuters.

Following the announcement earlier this week that workers in Alberta had filed for a union vote, Amazon Canada spokesperson Dave Bauer said that while the company respects workers’ rights to unionize, he did not think it was the “best answer for our employees.”

“Every day we empower people to find ways to improve their jobs, and when they do that we want to make those changes — quickly,” he said, according to CNBC.

“That type of continuous improvement is harder to do quickly and nimbly with unions in the middle,” he said, adding that the “benefits of direct relationships between managers and employees can’t be overstated — these relationships allow every employee’s voice to be heard, not just the voices of a select few.”

When reached for comment on Friday about the Teamsters' nationwide plans, an Amazon spokesperson shared the same comment from earlier this week.

In April, Amazon beat back an effort by workers at an Alabama warehouse to unionize, with a majority of the facility’s employees voting against union recognition from the National Labor Relations Board. An NLRB hearing officer last month recommended that the election should be held again, and the agency's regional director in Atlanta will decide whether a new election is warranted.

The Teamsters in June announced plans to create a special Amazon-focused division to help workers unionize. The initiative, called “The Amazon Project,” is considered the most ambitious effort to unionize yet, with Amazon being the second largest private employer in the U.S.

Updated at 11:16 a.m.