Amazon Faces Union Drive At Alberta Facility

Online retail giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is facing a unionization effort at a fulfillment centre in Canada.

The Teamsters union, through a local chapter, has filed an application with the Alberta Labour Relations Board to hold a vote on unionizing workers at the company’s facility in Nisku, a suburb of Edmonton.

If the board verifies the application, all of the center’s staff employed as of September 13 will have a chance to vote on being represented by Teamsters Local Union 362.

The union drive in Alberta comes as Amazon announced earlier this week that it’s raising starting wages for employees in Canada to $21.65 an hour and plans to hire 15,000 more staff across the country.

In April, Amazon warehouse workers in the U.S. State of Alabama voted by more than a two-to-one margin against being represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The union challenged the election results alleging Amazon interfered in the process and the National Labor Relations Board could invalidate the results and order a second election be held.

Amazon will have less time and less discretion to carry out an anti-union campaign in Alberta than it did in Alabama. Authorities in Alberta are more likely to deem mandatory anti-union meetings illegally coercive.

The Alberta labour board has confirmed that it received the Teamsters application to unionize Amazon employees but has not provided a timeline on when workers might be asked to vote, if the union application is accepted.