Amazon workers balloted on union recognition

A ballot process that could see Amazon recognise a trade union in the UK for the first time is to begin.

More than 3,000 Amazon workers will now take part in a month-long process, which includes a vote at the retail giant’s Coventry fulfilment centre.

The legally binding ballot, overseen by the Government’s Central Arbitration Committee, could force Amazon to recognise a trade union.

Recognition would mean Amazon would have to negotiate with GMB on terms, pay and conditions for Amazon workers at the site.

It would be the first time Amazon has recognised a trade union in UK history.

The strike vote comes after the year-long dispute between GMB union members and Amazon, which has seen over thirty days of strike action.

Workplace meetings on the ballot will begin from today [Wednesday 19 June] with voting from Monday 8 July.

The result will be announced after Monday 15 July.

Amanda Gearing, GMB senior organiser, said: “This is an historic moment.

“Amazon is one of the world’s most hostile and anti-union employers. They’re a multi-billion-pound global company investing huge energy to resist efforts by working class people in Coventry to fight for a better life.

“But right here Coventry Amazon workers have rejected Amazon’s attempts to smash their union.

“Instead, they’ve stood up to be counted and demanded the chance to vote on union recognition.

“Now Amazon workers, not the bosses, will decide.”

A spokesperson for Amazon said: “Our employees have the choice of whether or not to join a union. They always have.

“Across Amazon we place enormous value on having daily conversations and engagement with our employees. It’s a strong part of our work culture. We value that direct relationship and so do our employees.”

It said minimum starting pay has gone up to £12.30 and £13 per hour depending on location.

“We also work hard to provide great benefits, a positive work environment and excellent career opportunities,” it added.