Unite union launches new campaign at Peterborough employer Amazon

Unite union officials unveiled banners in Peterborough city centre as they launched a new campaign targeted at online retailer Amazon.
Representatives of Unite protest in Cathedral Square, in Peterborough.Representatives of Unite protest in Cathedral Square, in Peterborough.
Representatives of Unite protest in Cathedral Square, in Peterborough.

Several union representatives showed off banners in Cathedral Square and outside Peterborough Cathedral to highlight the launch of Unite’s new confidential whistle-blowing hotline for Amazon workers.

The action is part of a national Action on Amazon campaign by Unite to secure what it describes as a ‘new deal’ for the retailer’s staff.

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Unite executive officer Sharon Graham said: “Unite has opened a confidential hotline for Amazon workers in Peterborough to blow the whistle on poor treatment and working practices.

“Unite is launching Action on Amazon to give Amazon workers a voice, so they don’t have to rely on whistle-blowing or calling confidential hotlines.

“It is prime time Amazon gave workers in Peterborough the right to be in a union.”

Amazon employs more than 1,000 staff in Peterborough at its fulfilment centre in Kingston Park, in Hampton, and at a smaller centre in Orton Southgate.

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The company is also in the process of opening a new delivery hub at Peterborough Gateway where it will create 50 jobs and provide opportunities for hundreds of delivery drivers.

The company says it respects the right of staff to join, form or not to join a labour union or other lawful organisation of their choice.

It also highlights the value it places on managers’ daily conversations with each employee and works to ensure direct engagement with employees is a strong part of the company’s work culture.

A spokesman for Amazon said: “The fact is we already offer our employees excellent pay, excellent benefits and excellent opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern work environment.

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“Our competitive wages start at £9.70 or £10.80 per hour depending on location, and we’d encourage anyone to compare this to the wages and benefits offered by other retailers.

“We’re proud to have created 10,000 new permanent roles across the UK in 2020, taking our total permanent UK workforce to more than 40,000.

“Our people have played a critical role in serving customers in these unprecedented times and the new roles help us continue to meet customer demand and support small and medium sized businesses selling on Amazon.”


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