Campaigners in Sheffield call for action as Amazon profits triple amid reports of union busting and poor treatment

Campaigners will unfurl a large banner at several sites in Sheffield today to call on Amazon to sign up to a declaration which would guarantee workers the freedom to talk with and form a union without fear.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 2:25 pm

The giant banner will display the Union’s hotline number for workers at Bramall Lane Stadium, Sheffield arena and Meadowhall Shopping Centre.

Recently, Amazon reported that its first-quarter profit more than tripled from a year ago, fuelled by the growth of online shopping.

Against a backdrop of reports about poor working conditions and anti-union tactics, Amazon workers have been essential during the Covid crisis.

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Protest in Sheffield
Protest in Sheffield

Unite is calling on Jeff Bezos to sign up to a declaration of neutrality. Amazon tripled its profits off the backs of workers who are routinely prevented from having a collective voice in their workplace says Unite.

In the first three months of this year, the company reported profit of 8.1 billion dollars (£5.8 billion), compared to 2.5 billion dollars (£1.8 billion) the year before.

Unite has launched a confidential whistle-blowing hotline which has opened in the UK and Ireland. Amazon workers can blow the whistle and expose poor treatment free from reprisals by calling 08000 14 14 61 in the UK or 1800 851 268 for the Republic of Ireland or visiting https://actiononamazon.org/hotline/.

Unite executive officer, Sharon Graham said: “Amazon’s profits have tripled off the backs of workers who have been essential during the pandemic. But the company continues to be plagued by reports of poor working conditions and anti-union tactics.

"Amazon workers are not currently free to join a union without fear, and without obstruction and propaganda being deployed against them. Workers have serious concerns about issues such as bullying, mandatory overtime, intense surveillance, break-neck production targets and much more besides. Amazon workers need an independent voice to stand up against injustices in the workplace.

"Unite has recently written to Jeff Bezos in response to claims from the company about respecting UK workers’ rights to join and form a union. Our union is calling on the company to make a clear commitment and sign up to a declaration of neutrality. The declaration would guarantee workers the freedom to talk with and form a union without fear. If the company is genuine then it should be more than happy to sign the declaration."