Union targets online retail giant’s poor employment practices
Unite, which represents workers throughout Ireland, has launched a national advertising campaign to encourage Amazon workers to blow the whistle on poor treatment by calling 1800-851268. The online retail giant, which already employs several thousand people in Ireland in tech and warehousing roles in Dublin and Cork, is planning a major ‘fulfilment centre’ in North County Dublin.
Unite’s hotline campaign is being launched across Ireland and Britain and coincides with the launch of the campaign alliance, ‘Action on Amazon’, that is demanding a ‘new deal’ for Amazon workers, including union recognition and a greater share of the firm’s enormous profits.
Against a backdrop of reports of poor working conditions, Amazon workers have been essential during the Covid crisis. 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.
Unite is now calling on Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to sign up to a ‘new deal’, including commitments that recognise workers’ right negotiate collectively through the union of their choice.
Unite Executive Officer Sharon Graham said: “Unite has opened a confidential hotline for Amazon workers in Ireland to blow the whistle on poor treatment and working practices.
“Jeff Bezos has become the world’s richest man off the backs of workers who have played a crucial part in so many people’s lives during the pandemic. It is prime time Amazon gave workers in Ireland the right to negotiate collectively through the union of their choice, and to organise without interference, bullying and intimidation.”