Amazon could soon be forced to recognise UK’s GMB union

By Thomson Reuters Apr 19, 2024 | 4:57 AM

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. technology and retail giant Amazon could soon be required to formally recognise the GMB union at its Coventry warehouse in Britain, after a government body ruled in the union’s favour.

GMB said in a statement on Friday that Amazon workers at the site would now vote on union recognition, and if approved, it would be the first time outside the United States that Amazon was required to bargain with a union over pay, hours and holiday.

Amazon has historically opposed unionisation, but in 2022, workers at one of its New York warehouses forced the company to recognise a trade union in the U.S. for the first time.

The group’s preference has been to resolve issues with employees directly rather than through unions.

Workers at Amazon’s Coventry warehouse in central England have been involved in a dispute over pay and union recognition for over a year.

Amazon, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters, employs 75,000 in the UK, making the U.S. retail giant one of the UK’s top ten private-sector employers.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by William James)