Amazon Legal Challenge: Workers Fight for Union Recognition Amid Anti-Union Tactics


Amazon Legal Challenge: Workers Fight for Union Recognition Amid Anti-Union Tactics

The GMB union has taken legal action against Amazon, accusing the retail giant of employing coercive tactics to discourage workers from unionizing. This legal move, known as an Inducement Claim, comes shortly after the GMB achieved a significant milestone by winning a union recognition vote at Amazon’s Coventry warehouse, a move that could pave the way towards the first Amazon union in the UK.

“Amazon’s relentless union-busting tactics are once again on display for the world to watch. We have seen this movie before. When workers unite to demand basic rights, Amazon digs in its heels, refusing to acknowledge unions unless pushed,” said Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union.  “All these workers are asking from Amazon is to cease its awful campaign, respect the law and negotiate to make their jobs better.” 

The GMB’s legal action accuses Amazon of engaging in “American style union-busting tactics,” attempting to coerce employees to renounce their trade union membership. This claim is filed just days after the GMB triumphed in a formal recognition ballot at Amazon, a crucial process requiring the union to demonstrate significant membership support among the workforce.

Amanda Gearing, GMB Senior Organiser, said:

“This is a company out of control. Amazon is a multi-billion-pound corporation, doing everything in its power to stop minimum wage workers from forming a union. Their latest American anti-union campaign proves they will stop at nothing to beat the rules that every other employer in the UK is expected to follow. It’s desperate measures and goes someway to show why Amazon workers as so determined to win the union recognition they deserve.”

According to the GMB, workers are furious after it was revealed that Amazon had:

  • Pressured staff to leave the union. Company bosses have erected QR codes in Amazon fulfilment centres which generated an email to the union’s membership department requesting that membership is cancelled.
  • Forced workers to attend hour long anti-union seminars. Led by senior company managers, these briefings forced workers to listen to anti-union messages on work time.
  • Displayed anti-union messages throughout Amazon workplaces, including on billboards and screens.
  • Bullied and intimidated union representatives amongst Amazon staff.

The push for unionization at Amazon’s UK facilities is part of a global movement to improve labour standards and ensure fair treatment for Amazon workers. In November, the GMB joined forces with international unions for the “Make Amazon Pay” campaign, coordinated by UNI Global Union, staging strikes and protests on Black Friday to call attention to the demand for better working conditions and fairer treatment of Amazon employees worldwide.


Press Release


UNI Amazon Global Union Alliance

UNI Europa