Unite warns Amazon against using anti-union tactics

Amazon urged to commit to declaration of neutrality amid Unite campaign to give Amazon workers a real voice

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Unite, the union which has launched the campaign to give Amazon workers a real voice, is warning Amazon not to use union busting tactics in the UK and Ireland.

Workers in Bessemer, Alabama lost their ballot against the backdrop of attacks on workers’ rights to form a union by using anti-union consultants.

But Unite is pledging not to be deterred from its campaign to give Amazon workers a voice in the UK and Ireland.

Recent press reports around the RSDWU union’s attempt to organise the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer Alabama describes a catalogue of tactics to stop workers forming a union, including spending $10,000 plus expenses a day with anti-union consultants.

In Spain, Amazon is facing legal action for using the notorious Pinkertons to spy on warehouse workers planning a strike in Barcelona. In the late 19th and early 20th century in the US, Pinkertons was notorious for supplying detectives to infiltrate unions and hired violent goon squads to intimidate workers from engaging in union activity.

In September 2020 Amazon posted two job adverts for intelligence analysts to track “labor organizing threats”. These jobs were taken by former FBI agents.

Unite executive officer, Sharon Graham said, “The union in Alabama put up a brave fight in the face of a methodical anti-union campaign from Amazon.

“If Amazon is genuine about respecting UK workers’ rights to join and form a union, as it recently claimed, then it should make a clear commitment and sign up to a declaration of neutrality,” she added.

“Amazon must pledge not to use other anti-union tactics like spying on its workers. The intrusive surveillance tactics Amazon has employed elsewhere to prevent workers having a voice has no place in 21st Century Britain.

“The declaration of neutrality guarantees 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

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