Amazon accused of ‘dirty tricks’ as GMB withdraws recognition bid

Amazon refuses to pay workers a decent wage, but are paying an additional 1,300 workers to try and bust the union, says GMB

9 Jun 2023| News

GMB has accused Amazon of ’dirty tricks’ after the union was forced to withdraw its historic bid of recognition at the internet giant’s Coventry warehouse. After months of strike action, GMB’s membership at the warehouse had rocketed to 800.

Amazon publicly stated last year there were 1,400 workers at the warehouse, meaning GMB members made up more than the 50 per cent needed for statutory union recognition. However, once GMB made an official application to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), Amazon claimed to have 2,700 workers – a claim accepted by the CAC.

GMB members working at Amazon Coventry claim the warehouse has been flooded with up to 1,000 new starters since the strike action began. Further strike action at Amazon Coventry will take place on 12, 13 and 14 of June.

Stuart Richards, GMB Senior Organiser, said:

“Earlier this year, in one of the busiest periods for retail, Amazon told people there were around 1,400 workers in Coventry.

After GMB submitted a request for recognition, Amazon went on a massive recruitment drive. They now claim to have more than 2,700 workers at the site.  GMB believes this was purely in response to GMB membership growing so close to the threshold for statutory union recognition.

Amazon has refused to pay workers a decent wage, but are now paying an additional 1,300 workers to try and bust the union. We estimate that’s more than £300,000 a week – just to stop workers having a voice in their workplace. This is more than it would cost to pay the original workforce the £15 an hour they were asking for.

It’s dirty tricks, plain and simple.

GMB has expressed serious concerns to the CAC both about the accuracy of the information Amazon has given to the committee – and what we believe are immoral anti-union tactics. While we have no alternative but to withdraw the application for statutory recognition, but we’re not going away.

GMB members at Amazon are not giving up the fight for a wage they can live off and they won’t give up the fight for union recognition.”