New Amazon union in Quebec

Union officially certified at Amazon’s DXT4 warehouse in Laval

For the first time in Canada, there is a union at an Amazon warehouse. In a decision handed down on Friday, the Administrative Labour Tribunal (ALT) certified the Laval Amazon Workers Union—CSN.

After conducting an investigation pursuant to the Labour Code, the ALT determined that a majority of employees at the DXT4 warehouse had chosen to join the union in order to negotiate their first collective agreement. The decision is enforceable and Amazon will be legally required to come to the bargaining table.

“First and foremost, this is a great victory for the men and women from Latin America, Chad, the Maghreb and Asia who were not afraid to stand up for their rights,” says CSN President Caroline Senneville. “Over the past few months, Amazon has pulled out all the stops to block our unionization campaign, flooding the workplace with scaremongering messages. DXT4 workers have given us all a lesson in courage. Of course, we hope it spreads.”

On April 19, the CSN filed an application with the ALT to represent the 200 employees at Amazon’s DXT4 warehouse on Ernest-Cormier St. in Laval. In the preceding weeks, many workers had signed union cards.

Amazon workers cite many reasons for dissatisfaction with their working conditions: the frenetic pace of work, woefully inadequate health and safety measures, and wages well below the norm at warehouses and fulfillment centres in Québec.

Amazon plans to appeal

On May 6, even before the ALT decision, Amazon’s recently retained lawyers announced they intend to challenge the constitutionality of section 28 of the Québec Labour Code. In a letter to the ALT, the CSN and the Attorney General, Amazon claims that the ALT’s authority to certify a union as the workers’ representative is contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it violates the workers’ right to freedom of association by potentially depriving them of the right to choose their representatives!

“It’s been clear from the outset: Amazon has never wanted to abide by the legal framework governing labour relations in Québec,” says Caroline Senneville. “Now, Amazon is actually asking for the Labour Code to be suspended while it clogs the courts

with motions in a last-ditch effort to prevent its employees from joining together to improve their lot. But an American multinational can’t come in and dictate our laws. We have full confidence in our judicial system and have no doubt that it will find that our Labour Code is consistent with the Charter, no matter what Amazon says.”

In the coming days, the union will hold its first general assembly to adopt its constitution and bylaws and elect its representatives. It will then launch a consultation with its members to prepare its list of demands. Under the Québec Labour Code, Amazon will be legally required to negotiate.

More information on the drive to organize Amazon workers in Québec:

Founded in 1921, the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) represents 330,000 workers in the public and private sectors in all regions of Québec and across Canada.



François L’Écuyer
CSN Communications Department
Cell: 514-949-8973

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