UNITE, Britain’s leading union, has opened a confidential whistle-blowing hotline for Amazon workers in Wales.
The union has begun a national newspaper and digital Facebook advertising campaign to alert Amazon workers that they can blow the whistle and expose poor treatment free from reprisals by calling 08000 141 461 or visiting the https://actiononamazon.org/hotline/. The union is advertising in newspapers and online across the UK including in the South Wales Argus & South Wales Evening Post
The hotline coincides with the launch of the campaign alliance ‘Action on Amazon’ that is demanding a ‘new deal’ for Amazon workers, including a union and a greater share of the firm’s enormous profits. Swansea in Wales is home to a major Amazon fulfilment centre. Today (Wednesday 31 March) campaigners will also unfurl a giant banner at The Senedd to mark the launch of the nationwide campaign as part of a series of regional launches.
Against a backdrop of reports of poor working conditions, Amazon workers have been essential during the Covid crisis. The company increased its permanent workforce by one third (10,000) in 2020 as well as taking on 20,000 additional seasonal staff. The company almost doubled its profit in 2020 compared to 2019 and Jeff Bezos is now ranked the world’s richest man.
But Amazon stops any attempts by workers to gain a collective voice of their own. It has failed to sign up to either the United Nations Global Compact or the Ethical Trading Initiative – bodies that recognise the right of all workers to a collective voice and are signed up to by most of the biggest names on the high street.
The union is now calling on Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to sign up to a ‘new deal’, including commitments that recognise workers’ right to unionise.
photo credit: Unite