AMAZON has responded to calls for a ‘new deal’ for workers after campaigners visited Coventry to ‘spread the word’ of a new whistle-blowing hotline.
The UK’s leading workers union Unite has begun a digital Facebook advertising campaign aimed at informing Amazon workers that they can confidentially raise issues of concern and poor treatment free from reprisals on an online hotline or by calling 08000 141 461.
The hotline coincides with the launch of the campaign alliance Action On Amazon demanding a new deal for Amazon workers, including a union and a greater share of the firm’s profits.
Last Thursday (April 8) Action on Amazon campaigners unfurled a giant banner at Coventry Transport Museum at 1pm and then outside Coventry Cathedral.
Coventry’s Lyon Park is home to an Amazon fulfilment centre – part of a huge network of warehouse space owned by the across the country. According to Unite, Amazon stops any attempts by workers to gain a collective voice of their own.
In 2020 the company reported an increase in UK sales by 51% to a record $26.5 billion and CEO Jeff Bezos is now ranked the world’s richest man.
Unite executive officer Sharon Graham said: “Calls are growing for a new deal for Amazon workers. Action on Amazon campaigners at Coventry Transport Museum were there to spread the word that Amazon workers at the BHX4 site in Coventry can contact us confidentially by calling Unite’s hotline.
“This corporate giant has made billions off the backs of workers. Amazon resists any attempts by workers to gain a collective voice of their own. It is now time that workers have a voice.”
In response to the campaign and hotline, an Amazon spokesperson told the Observer: “The fact is we already offer our employees excellent pay, excellent benefits and excellent opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern work environment.
“Our competitive wages start at £9.70 or £10.80 per hour depending on location, and we’d encourage anyone to compare this to the wages and benefits offered by other retailers.
“We’re proud to have created 10,000 new permanent roles across the UK in 2020, taking our total permanent UK workforce to more than 40,000. Our people have played a critical role in serving customers in these unprecedented times and the new roles help us continue to meet customer demand and support small and medium sized businesses selling on Amazon.”