Amazon COVID Outbreak at Brampton Warehouse is Latest Sign of Urgent Action Needed for Workers, says National Union Leader

BRAMPTON, Ontario, March 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today’s outbreak at an Amazon fulfillment warehouse in Brampton, Ontario is the latest example of Amazon not prioritizing the needs of their employers, and further affirms the urgent need for proper worker representation at one of the world’s largest and richest companies, says the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Canada) union.

UFCW Canada represents more than a quarter of a million private-sector workers across Canada including thousands of logistics workers, and the choice for a group of Amazon drivers in the Greater Toronto Area who tried to join the union, but faced fierce resistance by Amazon.

“The Brampton facility is one of at least 30 Amazon fulfillment centers across the continent that have experienced outbreaks of COVID-19 impacting thousands of workers and their families. With these types of outcomes, Amazon workers have every reason to be concerned, and all Canadians should be questioning this company’s commitment to prevention,” says Paul Meinema the national president of UFCW Canada. “It is no wonder that more than 5,000 Amazon workers in the United States are in the midst of exercising their right to join our union and are now on the verge of having a meaningful say in their workplace and crucial health and safety issues.”

Throughout the union drive in Alabama, Amazon has attempted to discourage its employees from exercising this fundamental labour right by paying union-busters more than $10,000 per day. But support for the union continues to grow stronger by the day.

The frustration experienced by Amazon workers throughout the pandemic has been intensified by the company’s decision to claw-back a $2 per hour hazard pay premium, and to reinstate disciplinary measures aimed at workers deemed “unproductive.” This, despite the extraordinary efforts of these courageous frontline workers to meet the day to day needs of Canadians, and despite the fact that injury rates at Amazon have grown steadily over the last four years.

“This latest outbreak also reaffirms the urgent need for employers – especially, in this case, one of the biggest and richest employers in the world – to provide all their workers with paid sick days,” adds Meinema, making reference to a recent Toronto Star article that reported not all Amazon workers have paid sick days. “Many of Amazon’s employees at this facility come from vulnerable communities, and Amazon must step up immediately to fully work with government to ensure that the needs of these workers, families, and communities are met with the urgency and respect that they so rightly deserve.”

About UFCW Canada

UFCW Canada is the country’s leading private sector union, representing more than 250,000 union members across Canada working in food retail and processing, transportation, health care, logistics, warehousing, agriculture, hospitality, manufacturing, and the security and professional sectors. UFCW is the country's most innovative organization dedicated to building fairness in workplaces and communities. UFCW Canada members are your neighbours who work at your local grocery stores, hotels, airport food courts, taxi firms, car rental agencies, nursing homes, restaurants, food processing plants, and thousands of other locations across the country. To find out more about UFCW and its ground-breaking work, visit

Contact Information

Debora De Angelis
Regional Director, Ontario
UFCW Canada