'Blow the whistle on Amazon pay and conditions,' protesters urge
- Credit: Unite
Campaigners calling for better pay and trade union recognition for Amazon workers have been protesting at Bow Church and outside Stratford Town Hall.
They are urging staff at the company's Bromley-by-Bow centre and other depots around the country to "blow the whistle on poor employment treatment".
The Unite union has begun a digital Facebook campaign for workers to raise issues in confidence, free from alleged reprisals.
“This corporate giant has made billions off the backs of workers," Unite's chief executive Sharon Graham said.
“Calls are growing for a new deal for workers in Bromley-by-Bow and other centres, but Amazon resists any attempts for collective pay bargaining. It is now time that workers had a voice.”
Amazon's centre near Bow Church is part of a network of distribution depots up and down the country, making up a third of all warehouse space in the UK.
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Its staff are working round-the-clock with essential deliveries during the current Covid crisis.
The union claims workers' pay and rights aren't matching that key function and are urging any staff with grievances to call its telephone hotline on 08000-141461 or go online: https://actiononamazon.org/hotline/.
Amazon has insisted that it offers competitive wages starting at £9.70 or £10.80 an hour, depending on location.
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Its spokesman said last week: “We would encourage anyone to compare this to wages and benefits from other retailers. We offer excellent pay, benefits and opportunities for career growth working in a safe environment.”
Amazon has increased its workforce by a third in 2020 during the Covid-19 crisis, some 10,000 new permanent staff, as well as taking on 20,000 additional seasonal staff.
The spokesperson said the new roles help to meet customer demand and "support small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon".
But the union, which began its campaign last week with a message projected onto the Houses of Parliament, wants the company to sign up to the UN Global Compact or the Ethical Trading Initiative that recognise “the right of workers to a collective voice”.
There are already big high street retail brands which have already signed up.