Unite has begun a major newspaper and digital advertising campaign today (March 31), to alert Amazon workers about a confidential whistle-blowing hotline which has opened in the UK & Ireland.
Amazon workers can blow the whistle and expose poor treatment free from reprisals by calling 08000 14 14 61 in the UK or 1800 851 268 for the Republic of Ireland or visiting Unite’s Action on Amazon website here.
The hotline coincides with the launch of the campaign alliance ‘Action on Amazon’ that is demanding a ‘new deal’ for Amazon workers, including a union and a greater share of the firm’s enormous profits.
Launch events will take place across the UK and Ireland this week including in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin.
Against a backdrop of reports about poor working conditions, Amazon workers have been essential during the Covid crisis. The company increased its permanent workforce by one third (10,000) in 2020 as well as taking on 20,000 additional seasonal staff. The company almost doubled its profit in 2020 compared to 2019 and Jeff Bezos is now ranked the world’s richest man.
But Amazon stops any attempts by workers to gain a collective voice of their own. It has failed to sign either the United Nations Global Compact or the Ethical Trading Initiative – bodies that recognise the right of all workers to a collective voice and are signed up to by most of the biggest names on the high street.
The union is now calling on Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to sign up to a ‘new deal’, including commitments that recognise workers’ rights to unionise.
Unite executive officer Sharon Graham said, “Unite has launched a major ad campaign to alert Amazon workers about a confidential hotline to blow the whistle on poor treatment and working practices.
“Amazon attacks all attempts by workers to gain a collective voice of their own. This is why Unite is launching ‘Action on Amazon’ to give Amazon workers a voice, so they don’t have to rely on whistle-blowing or calling confidential hotlines,” she added.
“Jeff Bezos has become the world’s richest man off the backs of workers who have played a crucial part in so many people’s lives during the pandemic. It is prime time Amazon gave workers the right to be in a union and to do so without interference, bullying and intimidation.”
The union has posted ads across 24 news titles in the papers and online, also on Facebook.
By Ciaran Naidoo