Unite, the largest union in the UK and Ireland, opened a confidential hotline for Amazon workers in Marston Gate, Ridgmont, Bedfordshire (LTN1 Milton Keynes Distribution Center).
This is part of a national newspaper and digital Facebook ad campaign to let Amazon workers know they can speak out about abuse and report abuse by calling 08000141461 or visiting the Amazon Hotline.
The hotline coincides with the launch of the campaign alliance ‘Action on Amazon‘which demands a’ new deal ‘for Amazon workers, including a union and a bigger share of the company’s huge profits.
On Wednesday (March 31, 2021), activists projected images on landmarks in London to mark the launch of the national campaign.
Unite said that amid reports of poor working conditions, Amazon workers have played a critical role during the COVID crisis. In addition, the company increased its permanent workforce by a third (10,000) in 2020 and hired 20,000 additional seasonal workers.
He also said that Amazon nearly doubled its profits in 2020 compared to 2019 and that Jeff Bezos is now ranked as the richest man in the world.
Unite also claimed that Amazon is stopping all attempts by workers to secure a collective voice. Amazon’s addition refused to subscribe to the United Nations Global Compact or the Ethical Trading Initiative. Unite said these bodies recognize the right of all workers to a collective voice and are signed by most of the biggest names on the streets.
The union is now calling on Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to sign a “ new deal, ” including pledges that recognize workers’ right to organize. Unite Executive Officer, Sharon Graham, said:
“Unite has opened a confidential hotline for Amazon employees in Milton Keynes [sic] denounce mistreatment and bad work practices.
“Amazon attacks all attempts by workers to gain their own collective voice. That’s why Unite is launching “ Action on Amazon ” to give a voice to Amazon workers, 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. Amazon gave Milton Keynes workers prime time [sic] the right to belong to a Union and to do so without interference, harassment and intimidation. “
In a statement sent to the Chronicle, a Amazon spokesperson said:
“The point is, we already offer our employees 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. “