Unifor to re-apply to labour board after unexpected data from Amazon

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VANCOUVER—Unifor is temporarily withdrawing its applications to the B.C. Labour Relations Board (BCLRB) to represent workers at two Amazon fulfilment centres in Metro Vancouver due to a suspiciously high number of reported employees.  

“Make no mistake: workers at Amazon in Metro Vancouver are closer than ever to successfully forming a union,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “The number of workers provided by Amazon is suspiciously high, but with this information we know precisely what our next steps are to help these workers form their union.”

B.C. law doesn’t compel employers to provide any information about the number of workers onsite during a union drive, leaving unions to guess the threshold of signed cards they ought to meet before applying to the BCLRB for certification. 

“We’re not going anywhere. Unifor is committed to the hundreds of workers at Amazon who have signed a confidential union card and will re-double our efforts in the coming weeks,” McGarrigle said.

Unifor has repeatedly called for changes to the B.C. Labour Relations Code to improve employer transparency during the unionization process, including in its recent submission to the labour code review.

“When working people are up against giant, well-funded multinational employers, we need more tools to help level the playing field,” said McGarrigle. “Transparency is not too much to ask. The B.C. government should close this loophole as soon as possible.”

After hundreds of workers at the two facilities signed confidential union cards, Unifor applied to the BCLRB on April 10 to certify the unit. Unifor’s awareness campaign at Amazon facilities began on June 21, 2023. Card-signing began on October 19, 2023.

Workers at an Amazon facility first formed a union in April 2022 at the “JFK8” distribution centre on Staten Island in New York State.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

Media Contact

Ian Boyko

National Communications Representative - Western Region