Northern Ireland

Unite calls for rights for Amazon workers to 'unionise'

A WORKERS' union has set up a 'whistler-blowers' hotline' for Amazon workers in Northern Ireland.

Unite has also launched a newspaper and Facebook campaign and adverts will be carried from today in newspapers, including The Irish News, and online across the UK.

The initiatives coincide with the campaign alliance `Action on Amazon' which calls for a `new deal' for Amazon workers, including a union and a greater share of the firm's enormous profits.

Belfast is home to a major Amazon warehouse - known as a fulfilment centre - located in Channel Business Park.

Campaigners will today unfurl a huge banner at the centre to mark the launch of the campaign.

The union is calling on Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to sign up to a `new deal', including commitments that recognise workers' right to unionise.

Sharon Graham, Unite Executive Officer, said: "Amazon attacks all attempts by workers to gain a collective voice of their own.

"This is why 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," she said.

"It is prime time Amazon gave workers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland the right to be in a union and to do so without interference...".

A spokesman for Amazon said the company "already offer our employees excellent pay, excellent benefits and excellent opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern work environment.

"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," he said.

He added: "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."

**Amazon workers can maje contact on 08000 141 461 or by visiting