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Working conditions in Montreal warehouses of Dollarama and Amazon: the PLQ calls for a CNESST investigation

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The Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) calls for an immediate investigation by the CNESST following a study in which 70 workers testify to poor working conditions in the Montreal warehouses of Dollarama and Amazon, as reported in an article in Newspaper This morning.

• Read also: Amazon and Dollarama warehouses: “disposable” labor, deplores report

“The labor shortage and the rapid rise in the cost of living create fertile ground for precarious working conditions for Quebecers and particularly immigrants and foreign workers, a vulnerable clientele,” explained the MP. liberal of Nelligan, Monsef Derraji in a press release on Saturday.

“This precariousness worries us to the greatest extent and we ask the government to act immediately, in particular by triggering an investigation by the CNESST,” adds the man who is also spokesperson for the official opposition on immigration and francization. and integration.

The testimonies collected in this study conducted by the Interuniversity and Interdisciplinary Research Group on Employment, Poverty and Social Protection (GIREPS), the Center for Immigrant Workers (CTI) and the Association of Agency Workers placement (ATTAP) highlighted the fact that these companies take advantage of the vulnerability of recent immigrants to maximize their profits.

“Disposable labor”

“People describe Dollarama’s warehouses as dusty, poorly lit, without enough space to move around,” explained earlier to Newspaper Martine D’Amours, sociologist and associate professor of industrial relations at Laval University who also led the study.

“Besides that, the Amazon model looks wow! It’s well lit, the spaces are larger, but what we’re told are the long work shifts (10 hours a day) and, above all, the productivity quotas which are literally inhumane. We squeeze the lemon and I would even tell you that we try to choose the lemons in which there is the most juice,” she added.

A high proportion of warehouse workers at both companies were born outside of Canada: this is the case for 100% of study respondents at Dollarama and 85% of them at Amazon.

“As a society, we cannot tolerate workers having such working conditions. With the increase in the cost of living, and the precarious status of certain foreign workers who do not know their rights in terms of working conditions,” reacted the spokesperson for the official opposition on labor matters, Madwa-Nika Cadet.

No benefits

Agency workers do not benefit from social benefits. One of the people interviewed by the authors of the study was not aware of his right to have paid leave. Another said she sometimes had to leave before the end of her shift, depriving her of income.

The median hourly wage of respondents was $20 at Dollarama and $19 at Amazon, which is within the industry average. In unionized warehouses, such as those of Metro, Loblaws and Sysco, however, wages can reach $30 an hour.

The majority of respondents said they feared injury due in particular to the high pace of work. However, Dollarama and Amazon warehouses are the subject of fewer complaints to the CNESST than other similar, but unionized, workplaces.

To explain this surprising situation, the researchers cite the vulnerability of workers at Dollarama and Amazon, which would discourage the reporting of injuries. At Amazon, the problem would be accentuated by the internal care system, AmCare.

– With the collaboration of Sylvain Larocque

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