After several long weeks and thousands of Canadians left to watch their packages sit in parked delivery trucks, the Canada Post fiasco finally came to an end this week. On Tuesday, the delivery service announced that they were officially back on track for holiday delivery fulfillment. Unfortunately, it seems that right on the heels of this holiday crisis being resolved, yet another delivery service is having issues and it's none other than Amazon Canada.
Just after Amazon Canada announced they were opening a massive new facility in Alberta, news arose that many Amazon delivery workers are beginning to get frustrated with the company. The 770 delivery workers have been attempting to unionize but according to them, Amazon keeps blocking them from doing it.
The drivers in question who are being represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada (UCFW) are alleging that Amazon Canada is violating the Ontario Labour Relations Act by engaging in unfair labour practices and stonewalling the workers' attempts to create a union. Their frustration sounds similar to Canada Post worker's issues when it comes to low pay, while Canada Post workers do have the privilege of a union.
According to the UFCW, Amazon has been interfering with the drivers in their attempt to unionize, and have been using tactics to limit the group of workers from reaching the 40% vote amongst workers that they need to get a union. One of those tactics was cutting back work hours for the drivers. Tim Deelstra, a representative for UFCW claims "every time we apply for certification, Amazon cuts off their business."
Right now, Amazon's driver structure follows a similar idea as Uber's "partner" instead of "employee" model. While it may seem like a positive when you're called a partner instead of an employee, it doesn't take long to realize that the lack of benefits and security prove it's nothing more than a tactic to limit unionization.
Toronto workers aren't the only ones who are pushing for Amazon to allow them to form a union. Workers in New York also spoke publicly about their efforts to unionize last week. Considering that Amazon has a track record of shutting down offices and workers that get serious about doing so, such as a call centre in Seattle, this situation could get messy real quick.
Regardless, if you are worried about your packages, you shouldn't be. Since the workers aren't a part of a union, they can't officially take a strike position. So for customers worried about their Prime shipping, they can rest easy. For Amazon workers, on the other hand, this fight to create a union will definitely be an uphill battle that's only just begun.
Source: The Logic