For the first time, Amazon could soon be obligated to acknowledge a “trade union” in the United Kingdom.
According to the GMB union, they have a majority of members working at Amazon’s Coventry warehouse, making them eligible for legal registration. It has requested recognition in writing from the corporation.
According to Amazon, the company “respects its employees’ freedom to choose whether or not to join a labour union.”
After ten years of battling, the GMB thinks it is finally close to a historic win. If successful, it would imply that Amazon would have to bargain with employees on their pay, vacation time, and sick pay.
Amazon only has 10 days to respond. It claimed that the starting salary ranged between £11 and £12 per hour and that pay was routinely reviewed.
“Our minimum pay has increased by more than 37% since 2018 and by 10% over the past seven months,” it continued.
The union claimed that at the Amazon distribution centre in Coventry, there are 1,300 employees. Nearly 700 people have joined the GMB, which indicates that the organisation has reached the required number of members for formal recognition.
The Central Arbitration Committee, the organisation in charge of settling recognition disagreements, may be asked to intervene if Amazon declines to provide recognition.
If the CAC is convinced that the workforce as a whole prefers the union’s representation, it may immediately give recognition. It may be necessary for the workers to cast a vote in support of this.
Back in August of last year, when only 30 of the warehouse employees in Coventry were GMB members, employees there began showing concern about salary. The first Amazon protest had ever been held in the UK in January.
Since then, the corporation has raised its minimum hourly beginning rate to between £11 and £12, depending on location. A $15/hour minimum wage is what the union is requesting.