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Amazon accused of “union-busting” in Midlands warehouses 

Amazon warehouse in Barrhaven, Ottawa

Amazon is facing allegations from the GMB union for "union-busting" at its Midlands warehouses.

Workplace message boards told staff: “We want to speak with you. A union wants to speak for you.”

The allegation comes as the employees prepare for a three-day strike at the Coventry warehouse next week. 

Workers advocate for a wage increase to £15 per hour and negotiation rights over their pay and working conditions.

Evidence presented by the GMB includes photographs from inside the Coventry facility and other Amazon locations in the Midlands.

It shows messages on information boards and in company newsletters. 

"Amazon is using every trick in the book to stop workers from organising for better pay and conditions”

These messages suggest union representation comes with unnecessary costs.

It implies Amazon already provides a platform for employees' voices to be heard without union involvement.

Gary Smith, the GMB’s general secretary, said: “Let’s call this what it is: one of the world’s wealthiest companies engaged in union-busting right here in the UK.”

He added that the GMB members in Coventry “are refusing to be beaten by Amazon’s union-busting, and they will win the pay and recognition they deserve.”

The GMB's efforts to gain formal recognition at the Coventry site faced challenges.

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It includes a previous withdrawal from a Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) application due to Amazon allegedly inflating staff numbers to dilute the union's representation.

Despite these obstacles, the GMB is preparing to submit a new application for recognition, driven by ongoing union recruitment efforts at the site. 

Kate Bell, assistant general secretary of the TUC, said: “Instead of treating its workforce with the respect it deserves, Amazon is using every trick in the book to stop workers from organising for better pay and conditions.”

An Amazon spokesperson said: “We respect our employees’ rights to join, or not to join, a union.”

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