Amazon warehouse protest as workers vote on trade union representation

There will be a demonstration outside the company's warehouse in Dunfermline on Monday morning.

Amazon Dunfermline warehouse protest as workers vote on trade union representation iStock

A protest will take place at an Amazon warehouse in Fife as a ballot opens that could see the online giant recognise a trade union in the UK for the first time.

The demonstration outside the company’s warehouses in Dunfermline on Monday coincides with the day workers at Amazon’s Coventry warehouse cast votes on whether they want the GMB union to represent them.

There are more than 3,000 workers eligible to take part in the ballot.

There are two key factors in the ballot that will decide the outcome. Firstly, 40% of employees in the bargaining unit must vote, whether they are union members or not. If this threshold is not met, the ballot fails. Then if the 40% threshold is met, it is a straight majority of the vote that decides the outcome.

Amazon maintains that its employees have always had the choice of joining a union.

The vote runs until Saturday, July 13, with a result expected on July 15.

Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said: “Workers have come together because of the poverty pay and unsafe conditions Amazon has thrust upon them.

“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.

“Amazon has had every chance to do the right thing; now workers are taking things into their own hands to make work better.”

An Amazon spokesperson 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.

“We regularly review our pay to ensure we offer competitive wages and benefits. Our minimum starting pay has increased to £12.30 and £13 per hour depending on location – that’s a 20% increase over two years and 50% since 2018. We also work hard to provide great benefits, a positive work environment and excellent career opportunities.

“These are just some of the reasons people want to come and work at Amazon, whether it’s their first job, a seasonal role or an opportunity for them to advance their career.”

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