HOUSE and GRAY: Why did Amazon workers win the fight to form a union in Staten Island but not in Alberta?

Jordan House and Paul Gray, Assistant Professors of Labour Studies at Brock University, had a piece recently published in The Conversation about union organizing efforts at Amazon facilities across North America.

They write:

“Amazon workers in Staten Island have achieved something the company has been fighting for years to prevent: a union.

The breakthrough at Amazon’s JFK8 facility is being hailed as the “most important labour victory in the United States since the 1930s.” That it was won by the independent Amazon Labor Union (ALU) is all the more significant, in light of the failures of larger and better-resourced unions like the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in Alberta, and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) in Alabama.

Union organizing drives are context-specific, and the ALU still has significant challenges ahead, including Amazon’s attempts to overturn the result and the difficulty of achieving a first contract. 

Nevertheless, the victory in Staten Island and the defeats in Alberta and Alabama provide some key insights into the state of union organizing efforts at Amazon and beyond.”

Continue reading the full article on The Conversation website.

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