Amazon workers in Coventry make historic bid for union recognition

Amazon profits down

The GMB union has started the process for union recognition at Amazon Coventry, after two weeks of strike action by workers at the fulfilment centre.

Almost 700 Amazon Coventry workers are now GMB members, a number the union believes is more than half of workers at the site – the usual threshold for mandatory union recognition in a workplace.

Amazon bosses have 10 days to respond and agree voluntary recognition. If there is no agreement, GMB Union will start the statutory process through the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC).

This would be the first-time workers at a UK Amazon site have won recognition of a trade union for collective bargaining over pay, terms and conditions.

Amanda Gearing, GMB Senior Organiser, said: “GMB members have been crystal clear since the start of their campaign; they will not accept a pay rise of pennies from one of the world’s wealthiest corporations.

“After weeks of campaigning and fourteen strike days, they’ve built the power of their union on site and are now in a position to file for recognition.

“Amazon top brass has refused to negotiate and now their own workers have forced them to the table.

“With industrial actions ballots under way in five further Amazon depots and more and more Amazon workers joining GMB, managers fast risk this becoming a summer of strike chaos for the company.

“The time has come for Amazon to sit down and talk pay with GMB Union”.

Amazon responded to the GMB’s claims saying: “We offer competitive pay, comprehensive benefits, opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern work environment. At Amazon, these benefits and opportunities come with the job, as does the ability to communicate directly with the leadership of the company.”

  • Amazon respects its employees’ rights to choose to join or not join a labour union.
  • We regularly review our pay to ensure we offer competitive wages and recently announced another increase for our UK teams, taking starting pay (depending on location) to between £11-£12 per hour.
  • Over the past seven months, our minimum pay has risen by 10% and by more than 37% since 2018.