(Photo credit: @GMBStuartp – Twitter)
by Jack G (Unite the Union) for the Workers Party TU Group
Amazon’s workers at its Coventry warehouse have successfully enrolled a majority of workers, meeting the threshold for statutory recognition by law. The GMB union has written to the company requesting recognition, and if successful, this would mean Amazon would have to negotiate with workers on their pay and working conditions.
Workers at the Coventry warehouse began protesting about their pay in August, and since then, the dispute has evolved dramatically. The Union membership has quickly grown from less then a hundred, to over 700. This meets the threshold for statutory recognition of the Union as it is over half the workforce. However, Amazon has not yet agreed to recognize the union. The unionised workers have been demanding a pay rise to £15 an hour.
Although Amazon has stated that it respects its employees’ right to choose to join or not join a labour union, it has faced criticism in the past for its treatment of workers and anti-union stance. Certainly its actions prove it is anti-union, with claims that the company might try to increase its workforce at the site to avoid having to recognise the Union by making the unionised workers a minority.
If Amazon does not grant recognition, the Central Arbitration Committee could be asked to intervene.
Overall, the success of the GMB union in enrolling a majority of workers at Amazon’s Coventry warehouse could be a significant development in the labour relations of the company in the UK.
Amazon pays very little in the way of taxes. They with their army of legal experts, find every trick in the book to avoid paying their fair share. The rich get richer and the poor stay poor. All extra profit all goes into the pockets of the capitalist elites.
The cost of living crisis has had a significant impact on workers’ wages and living standards. Workers will find that their wages do not keep up with the rising cost of goods and services, which has led to terrible financial strain and hardship.
As workers seek to improve their pay and working conditions, unions can play a vital role in supporting them and advocating for their rights. All over the country workers are realising that they have the power to demand a better wage and working conditions from their employers. The only way to do this effectively is to join a Union.
We encourage every worker to join a Union and to fight for a better wage for them and their families.
Solidarity with Amazon workers seeking to have their union recognised, they will be the first to do so within Amazon in Britain!
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