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‘Amazon won’t change without a union’: Canadian warehouse files for union vote

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Workers at one of Amazon.com Inc‘s Canadian facilities have filed a request with a local labor board to hold a vote to form a union, Teamsters Canada said on Tuesday, in the latest challenge to the company, which has discouraged collective action in the past.

Teamsters Local Union 362 filed for a vote on union representation at an Amazon fulfillment center in Nisku, Alberta, late on Monday, according to Teamsters Canada, which represents 125,000 workers in different industries across the country.

Efforts to unionize Amazon workers in the United States have failed . But experts say Canada is generally seen as more pro-union than the United States, particularly in light of several major COVID-19 outbreaks at Amazon facilities during the pandemic, including several outside of Toronto that resulted in public health officials shutting down warehouses.

The application for all Amazon employees employed at the facility as of Monday to vote on forming a union must be verified by the Alberta Labor Relations Board, the Teamsters statement said. It was unclear when the vote would take place.

Teamsters Canada is affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents 1.5 million people in North America. In June the international organization said it would make unionizing Amazon a priority.

“Amazon won’t change without a union,” François Laporte, national president of Teamsters Canada, said in the statement. “The company has proven itself to be profoundly anti-worker.”

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company said when opening the warehouse in Nisku, located less than 30 km (18.64 miles) south of Edmonton, Alberta, that it would employ around 600 people in the facility.

Amazon earlier this year fended off an attempt by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) to organize workers in Bessemer, Alabama. A U.S. labor board official has recommended the vote at the facility should be redone due to Amazon setting up its own ballot collection boxes, but a final decision on whether to order a new vote has not yet been made.

Amazon workers rejected the union attempt in Alabama by a more than 2-to-1 margin. The company actively opposed the union, touted a pay scale above average in the area and said employees favored a “direct connection” with managers and the company.

Teamsters Canada is “prepared for anything” that Amazon might do to deter unionization, said spokesperson Christopher Monette.

Unionization efforts at the Nisku facility began in the summer and have received a huge amount of support, including a petition signed by “hundreds” of workers at the warehouse, Monette said.

Teamsters unions across Canada have posted on Facebook about their outreach to Amazon workers in recent months. Teamsters Local 987, which represents other workers in Alberta, wrote in a post in July that the group had spoken with “over 600 Amazon employees who are ready for change.”

“Amazon employees deserve and want an opportunity to bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions,” the group wrote.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver and Julia Love in San Francisco; Editing by Dan Grebler, Matthew Lewis and Sonya Hepinstall)

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Instagram pausing Instagram Kids, eyes changes – Business News – Castanet.net

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Instagram is putting a hold on the development of Instagram kids, geared towards children under 13, so it can address concerns about access and content.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, wrote in a blog post Monday that a delay will give the company time to “work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today.”

The announcement follows a withering series by the Wall Street Journal, which reported that Facebook was aware that the use of Instagram by some teenage girls led to mental health issues and anxiety.

Yet the development of Instagram for a younger audience was met with broader push back almost immediately.

Facebook announced the development of Instagram for kids in March, saying at the time that it was “exploring a parent-controlled experience.” The push back was almost immediate and in May, a bipartisan group of 44 attorneys general wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to abandon the project, citing the well being of children.

They cited increased cyberbullying, possible vulnerability to online predators, and what they called Facebook’s “checkered record” in protecting children on its platforms. Facebook faced similar criticism in 2017 when it launched the Messenger Kids app, touted as a way for children to chat with family members and friends approved by parents.

While concerns about Instagram for kids is ongoing, Mosseri said that Instagram believes it’s better for children under 13 to have a specific platform for age-appropriate content, and that other companies like TikTok and YouTube have app versions for that age group.

“We firmly believe that it’s better for parents to have the option to give their children access to a version of Instagram that is designed for them — where parents can supervise and control their experience — than relying on an app’s ability to verify the age of kids who are too young to have an ID,” he wrote.

Mosseri said that Instagram for kids is meant for those between the ages of 10 and 12, not younger. It will require parental permission to join, be ad free, and will include age-appropriate content and features. Parents will be able to supervise the time their children spend on the app, oversee who can message them, who can follow them and who they can follow.

While work is being paused on Instagram Kids, the company will be expanding opt-in parental supervision tools to teen accounts of those 13 and older. More details on these tools will be disclosed in the coming months, Mosseri said.

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Rescue efforts underway after 39 miners trapped underground in Sudbury – Globalnews.ca

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Rescue efforts are underway after 39 miners became trapped underground at Vale’s Totten mine in Sudbury, Ont., on Sunday afternoon.

On Monday afternoon, a Vale spokesperson confirmed the rescue crew had reached the miners and is starting the ascent. The company expects everyone to reach the surface by Monday night.

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Sudbury police search for suspect in hit-and-run homicide investigation

“We have learned that no one is injured, which is our number one concern,” Vale spokesperson Jeffrey Lewis said in an email.

“The miners have had and continue to have access to water, food and medicine.”

The company said the conveyance for transporting employees was taken offline following an incident in the shaft on Sunday afternoon.

It confirmed that employees will exit the mine through a secondary egress ladder system with the support of Vale’s mine rescue team.

When the incident took place, the employees underground immediately went to refuge stations as part of what Vale called its “normal procedures.”

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Updates to B.C.’s tailings code after Mount Polley disaster an improvement: auditor

“We have been in frequent communication with them since the incident,” the company said in a statement. “We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of these employees.”

On Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he’s relieved to hear the miners are uninjured.

“Our thoughts are with the 39 miners trapped underground in Sudbury as rescue teams work to get them safely above ground,” Ford tweeted.

Timmins—James Bay MP Charlie Angus also said he’s praying for the safety of the mining workers.

“Let’s get everyone home,” he said.


Click to play video: 'Maintenance workers trapped in Saskatchewan potash mine rescued, are safe'



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Maintenance workers trapped in Saskatchewan potash mine rescued, are safe


Maintenance workers trapped in Saskatchewan potash mine rescued, are safe – Jul 4, 2019

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Poker Pal of Evergrande Founder Heads for the Exit – Bloomberg Markets and Finance

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