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Amazon’s Coventry staff vote in historic union poll

Jul 9, 2024 | blog

Amazon staff on the Coventry warehouse have begun voting in a landmark commerce union recognition poll, probably granting them collective bargaining rights over pay and situations for the primary time within the UK. More than 3,000 workers on the West Midlands hub are taking part within the vote, which culminates on Saturday.

This poll follows a protracted battle between Amazon and commerce unions over staff’ rights. The unbiased Central Arbitration Committee authorised the legally binding poll after a marketing campaign by the GMB union, which is overseeing the vote. Amazon had beforehand denied a request for voluntary recognition.

Should the staff vote in favour, the GMB union will likely be authorised to barter on behalf of the employees, marking the primary occasion of union recognition by Amazon within the UK. The outcomes are anticipated subsequent week.

GMB nationwide secretary Andy Prendergast highlighted the employees’ motivations, stating, “They want the same fair pay and safe conditions any of us would demand. GMB members face shocking levels of intimidation, fear and abuse at the hands of bosses for daring to fight.”

Protests are scheduled at Amazon warehouses nationwide as voting begins, together with places in Warrington, Dunfermline, Swansea, and Tilbury. A separate rally at Amazon’s London headquarters will characteristic Kate Bell, assistant basic secretary of the TUC.

The recognition of GMB in Coventry would signify a serious victory after years of union campaigning over pay and dealing situations throughout Amazon’s UK warehouses. Despite union membership at a number of different websites, Coventry’s workforce is the most important concerned on this effort.

Coventry workers have engaged in a number of strikes over the previous yr, demanding £15 an hour and a task in negotiations. Workers have reported anti-union techniques by Amazon, akin to QR codes across the facility producing emails to cancel union membership.

This vote happens through the first full week of the Labour authorities, which has promised to boost staff’ rights. Labour’s marketing campaign included commitments to make union organisation simpler inside workplaces, a part of a “new deal for working people” led by Deputy Prime Minister Angela Rayner. Unions are urging speedy legislative motion to make sure these guarantees are upheld.

An Amazon spokesperson highlighted pay will increase since 2018 and maintained that workers have at all times had the selection to affix a union. “Our employees have the choice of whether or not to join a union. They always have. We regularly review our pay to ensure we offer competitive wages and benefits,” they acknowledged.

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