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    Amazon union recognition looms as historic vote begins

    Amazon workers hold GMB union placards on the picket line as they hold a strike outside the Amazon fulfilment centre on January 25, 2023 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

    Workers at the company’s Coventry fulfilment centre begin ballot process for legally binding union rights vote

    The GMB union announced today that the ballot period for union recognition at Amazon UK has begun.

    More than 3,000 Amazon workers will now take part in a month-long process, which includes a vote at the retail giant’s Coventry fulfilment centre.

    The legally binding ballot, overseen by the Government’s Central Arbitration Committee, could force Amazon to recognise a trade union for the first time in the UK.

    Recognition would mean Amazon would have to negotiate with GMB on terms, pay and conditions for Amazon workers at the site.

    The strike vote comes after the year-long dispute between GMB union members and Amazon, which has seen over thirty days of strike action.
     
    Amazon has been slammed in recent weeks for union-busting tactics in the lead up to the ballot and is already facing a legal challenge for pressuring workers into cancelling their union membership.
     
    Workplace meetings on the ballot will begin from today [19] with voting from Monday 8 July. 

    The result will be announced after Monday 15 July.

    “This is an historic moment,” said Amanda Gearing, GMB Senior Organiser. “Amazon is one of the world’s most hostile and anti-union employers. They’re a multi-billion-pound global company investing huge energy to resist efforts by working class people in Coventry to fight for a better life.

    “But right here Coventry Amazon workers have rejected Amazon’s attempts to smash their union. Instead, they’ve stood up to be counted and demanded the chance to vote on union recognition.

    “Now Amazon workers, not the bosses, will decide”.

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