Campaigners protest for Amazon workers’ trade union rights

Published On: September 18, 2021Categories: Latest News2.1 min read

Unite highlighted that Amazon has failed to sign either the United Nations Global Compact or the Ethical Trading Initiative

Unite campaigners staged a protest outside Welland Valley Viaduct this week to secure trade union rights for Amazon workers.

The demonstration took place following strong support for Unite’s campaign to secure rights for directly employed Amazon workers and those in the “Gig” economy.

Gig workers are independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers and temporary workers.

The protesters demonstrated at the Grade II listed Welland Viaduct that spans the Northamptonshire/Rutland border near Corby.

The group also said they were firmly opposing Amazon’s “anti-trade union tactics” and believe the e-Commerce giant stop workers from gaining a collective voice.

Unite highlighted that Amazon has failed to sign either the United Nations Global Compact or the Ethical Trading Initiative.

Unite is now calling on owner Jeff Bezos to sign up for a “declaration of neutrality” which includes commitments that recognise workers’ rights to unionise.

General Secretary Sharon Graham said: Amazon workers have played a crucial part in people’s lives during the pandemic and the public expects fair employment practices and decent terms and conditions.

Amazon attacks all attempts by workers to gain a collective voice of their own but it is now time for a new settlement, Graham said. The public strongly supports Amazon workers’ right to trade union representation regardless of whether the workers are directly employed or if they work in the gig economy.

Unite is calling on Jeff Bezos to back a declaration which guarantees that Amazon workers in the UK and Ireland have the freedom to talk with and form a union without fear. Our union is campaigning up and down the country. We are determined to win trade union rights for Amazon workers, Graham said.

When approached for comment, Amazon said their employees have the choice of whether or not to join a union and always have. However, they admitted that, as a company, they don’t think unions are the best answer for our employees.

A spokesperson said: Every day we empower people to find ways to improve their jobs, and when they do that we want to make those changes—quickly.

The spokesperson said: That type of continuous improvement is harder to do quickly and nimbly with unions in the middle. The benefits of direct relationships between managers and employees can’t be overstated—these relationships allow every employee’s voice to be heard, not just the voices of a select few.

We’ve made great progress in recent years and months in important areas like pay and safety, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said: We already offer competitive pay, comprehensive benefits and opportunities for career growth, all while working in a modern, safe and engaging work environment.

About the Author: Jonathan Adams

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