Amazon has tripled its profits off the backs of workers who are routinely prevented from having a collective voice in their workplace says Unite.
Against a backdrop of reports about poor working conditions and anti-union tactics, Amazon workers have been essential during the Covid crisis. Unite is calling on Jeff Bezos to sign up to a declaration of neutrality which would guarantee workers the freedom to talk with and form a union without fear.
Amazon has reported that its first-quarter profit more than tripled from a year ago, fuelled by the growth of online shopping.
In the first three months of this year, the company reported profit of 8.1 billion dollars (£5.8 billion), compared to 2.5 billion dollars (£1.8 billion) the year before.
Unite has launched 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 the Action on Amazon website here.
Unite executive officer, Sharon Graham said, “Amazon’s profits have tripled off the backs of workers who have been essential during the pandemic. But the company continues to be plagued by reports of poor working conditions and anti-union tactics.
“Amazon workers are not currently free to join a union without fear, and without obstruction and propaganda being deployed against them,” she added. “Workers have serious concerns about issues such as bullying, mandatory overtime, intense surveillance, break-neck production targets and much more besides. Amazon workers need an independent voice to stand up against injustices in the workplace.
“Unite has recently written to Jeff Bezos in response to claims from the company about respecting UK workers’ rights to join and form a union,” Graham continued. “Our union is calling on the company to make a clear commitment and sign up to a declaration of neutrality. The declaration would guarantee workers the freedom to talk with and form a union without fear. If the company is genuine then it should be more than happy to sign the declaration.”
By Ciaran Naidoo