Amazon warehouse staff in Coventry have begun voting in a “historic” trade union recognition ballot which will “force Amazon to recognise a union for the first time in the UK”.

Amazon warehouse workers

The GMB says Amazon staff “want the same fair pay and safe conditions any of us would demand” 

More than 3,000 staff at the ecommerce giant’s warehouse in Coventry are taking part in a trade recognition ballot which will allow Amazon’s UK employees to collectively bargain for workers’ rights for the first time.

GMB members have submitted an application for mandatory recognition at Amazon to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), a government body responsible for regulating collective bargaining between workers and employers.

Andy Prendergast, GMB national secretary, said: ”Workers have come together because of the poverty pay and unsafe conditions Amazon has thrust upon them.”

He went on to say: “They want the same fair pay and safe conditions any of us would demand. GMB members face shocking levels of intimidation, fear and abuse at the hands of bosses for daring to fight.

“Amazon has had every chance to do the right thing; now workers are taking things into their own hands to make work better.”

An Amazon spokesperson said: “We regularly review our pay to ensure we offer competitive wages and benefits. By April, our minimum starting pay will have increased to £12.30 and £13.00 per hour depending on location, that’s a 20% increase over two years and 50% since 2018.

“We also work hard to provide great benefits, a positive work environment and excellent career opportunities. These are just some of the reasons people want to come and work at Amazon, whether it’s their first job, a seasonal role or an opportunity for them to advance their career.”