GMB pushes Amazon for union recognition amid strikes

Credit: GMB Union

Amazon may soon be required to acknowledge the GMB trade union, as the union has officially requested this from the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC).

If more than half of Amazon’s employees become union members, the CAC can compel Amazon to recognise it and after more than a year of strikes, numerous workers at the Coventry site have joined the union, leaving GMB confident they will meet the legal requirement.

Amanda Gearing, GMB senior organiser, said: “It’s been legal gymnastics from Amazon in their attempt to smash drives for union recognition. But instead of being beaten, Amazon workers in Coventry have recruited their colleagues into the union in record numbers. They’re calling time on Amazon’s tactics and demanding the company talk pay, worker safety and conditions with their union.

“The company could be on the brink of being forced to recognise GMB Union. Union recognition matters, and it’s the clear ambition of workers at Amazon Coventry. It’s only right that an employer with thousands of members of a single trade union in a workplace be asked to sit down and talk to that union. Amazon workers are low-paid workers facing often unsafe and insecure work; it’s time they were extended the same rights to union protection as everyone else”.

If recognised, Amazon would be obligated to negotiate with GMB concerning wages, safety, and other working conditions.

A spokesperson from Amazon replied: “Amazon’s minimum starting pay has risen by 20% in the past two years, and 50% since 2018. By April, our minimum starting pay will have increased to between £12.30 and £13 per hour depending on location. We also provide excellent career opportunities, a positive work environment and great benefits like our Career Choice programme, where we pay 95% of an employee’s tuition fees, helping them learn new skills and grow in their careers. It’s why so many people join, stay and grow with Amazon.”

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