Union calls for ‘new deal’ for Amazon workers in Southampton

A union demands that Amazon workers in Southampton receive a “new deal” as activists are giving staff access to a hotline.

The digital giant is urged to recognize unions and share more of its wealth with its workforce – but it insists it is already treating workers well.

The Unite union advertises its confidential hotline online and in newspapers including the Daily Echo.

His move coincides with the launch of Action on Amazon, a campaign for better treatment of staff. Activists were due to unveil a giant banner at Southampton’s Bargate today.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is said to be the richest man in the world, with a fortune of US $ 196 billion (around £ 142 billion).

Amazon creates permanent roles in Southampton and 200 Christmas jobs

Sharon Graham, Managing Director of Unite, said: “Unite has opened a confidential phone line for Amazon workers in Southampton to speak out against abuse and poor labor practices.

“Amazon attacks all attempts by workers to gain their own collective voice. That’s why Unite is launching Action on Amazon to give Amazon workers a voice, so they don’t have to rely on whistleblowing or calling confidential hotlines.

“Jeff Bezos became the richest man in the world on the backs of the workers who played such a crucial role in the lives of so many during the pandemic. It was in prime time that Amazon gave workers in Southampton the right to join a union and to do so without interference.

Amazon increased its permanent workforce by a third last year and hired 20,000 seasonal workers. He almost doubled his profit from the previous year.

But Unite criticized the company for not giving staff a voice through unions and for not joining the United Nations Global Compact or the Ethical Trading Initiative.

Amazon last year increased its permanent staff from 40 to over 50 at one of its two Southampton locations and from around 20 to over 80 at the other. He hired about 200 seasonal employees.

Amazon said, “The point is, we already provide our employees with great pay, great benefits and great career development opportunities, all while working in a safe and modern work environment. Our competitive salaries start at £ 9.70 or £ 10.80 per hour depending on location, and we encourage anyone to compare that to salaries and benefits offered by other retailers.

“We are proud to have created 10,000 new permanent positions across the UK in 2020, bringing our total permanent workforce in the UK to over 40,000. Our employees have played a vital role in serving customers in these unprecedented times and new roles help us continue to meet customer demand and support small and medium businesses that sell on Amazon. ”

Southampton Test Labor MP Alan Whitehead, a shadow minister for business, said: ‘The reports I have heard from unions Unite and GMB about conditions at some Amazon warehouses are very worrying and highlight the UK’s chronic failure to protect workers’ rights. I am therefore encouraged by the work done to improve conditions at Amazon. However, the government must present a robust employment rights bill to protect all workers. ”

The Unite hotline is on 08000141461.

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