Amazon’s Littlehampton warehouse targeted by trade union protesters

Campaigners have unfurled a giant banner outside the Amazon warehouse in Littlehampton demanding more rights for the retail giant’s employees.

Members of trade union Unite revealed the banner, which publicises a whistle-blowing hotline for workers, outside the Norway Lane depot on Thursday (June 17).

The group has urged owner Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, to sign up to a declaration of neutrality that would give workers freedom to talk with and form a union without fear.

Unite executive officer, Sharon Graham, said: “Amazon continues to be plagued by reports of poor working conditions and anti-union tactics. As it stands Amazon workers are not able to form a union without fear of obstruction and reprisals.

Protesters at Littlehampton's Amazon warehouse SUS-210621-103338001

“Unite has written to Jeff Bezos to call on him to make a clear commitment to the UK workforce and sign up to a declaration of neutrality. The declaration would guarantee workers, including workers at Littlehampton the freedom to talk with and form a union without fear. If the company is genuine about creating good jobs in the UK then it should be more than happy to sign the declaration.

“Amazon’s profits have tripled off the backs of workers who have been essential during the pandemic they must be allowed to protect their rights at work and a union is the only effective way to achieve this.”

The declaration of neutrality drawn up by Unite would see Amazon acknowledge its workers’ ‘right to freedom of association’ in line with the United Nations Global Compact and paragraph 2 of the ETI Base Code.

A spokesman for Amazon said the company already allows its employees to join, form or speak to unions.

Protesters at Littlehampton's Amazon warehouse SUS-210621-103350001

“We respect our employees’ right to join, form, or not to join a labour union or other lawful organisation of their own selection, without fear of reprisal, intimidation, or harassment,” the spokesman said.

“Across Amazon, including in our delivery stations, we place enormous value on having daily conversations with each team member and work to make sure direct engagement with our employees is a strong part of our work culture.

“The fact is, we already offer excellent pay, excellent benefits and excellent opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern work environment. The unions know this.”

Protesters at Littlehampton's Amazon warehouse SUS-210621-103402001
Protesters at Littlehampton's Amazon warehouse SUS-210621-103417001