Striking workers at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Coventry are making a bid for union recognition after reaching nearly 700 members.

GMB union believes the number of striking workers is now more than half of those at the site, which is the typical threshold for compulsory union recognition in a workplace.

The union has started the process for recognition at the Coventry site, following 14 days of strike action by workers who are asking for £15 an hour in pay and better working conditions.

GMB says if this is successful, it would be the first time workers at a UK Amazon site have won trade union recognition. 

Amazon bosses have 10 days to respond and agree voluntary recognition, and if there is no agreement the union will start the statutory process through the Central Arbitration Committee.

More strikes are likely on the way, as five other fulfilment centres in England are in the process of voting on whether to take strike action.

GMB senior organiser Amanda Gearing 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 14 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 the GMB Union.”

Retail Week has reached out to Amazon for a comment.