WORKERS at online retail giant Amazon are one step closer to union recognition, as a government committee has ruled in favour of GMB union’s application for a vote at one of Amazon’s warehouses.

The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), the Government body responsible for regulating collective bargaining between workers and employers, ruled in favour of GMB’s application for a union recognition vote at the company’s warehouse in Coventry.

After over a year of industrial action and thirty strike days at the Coventry site, the CAC determined that, on the balance of probabilities, a majority of the workers would favour union recognition.

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This paves the way for a legally binding vote of Amazon Coventry's workforce, which would mean that Amazon would be forced to sit down with GMB on matters relating to pay, hours and holidays.

The CAC will now appoint an independent organisation to arrange a legally binding vote of workers, with a ballot timetable likely to be announced in the coming weeks.

The result of the vote could also impact Amazon workers in Scotland, providing the foundations for a similar vote on union recognition.

Amazon has distribution centres across Scotland, in Aberdeen, Bathgate, Dundee, Dunfermline, Glasgow, Gourock and Motherwell.

This news comes just weeks after union-busting tactics at the Coventry site were exposed when it was revealed workers had been bombarded with anti-union messages by company bosses.

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Amazon bosses thwarted earlier attempts by workers to deliver union recognition by flooding the fulfilment centre with over a thousand new staff, in order to sidestep legal recognition thresholds.

Commenting, Amanda Gearing, GMB senior organiser, said: “From day one of GMB’s fight for union rights at Amazon it has been a modern-day David and Goliath battle. “One year on this is a truly historic moment as workers stand up against the company’s relentless anti-union propaganda.

“Workers have won against the odds and will now be given a legally binding say on forming Europe’s first recognised union at Amazon.

“Amazon bosses have been sent a clear and unapologetic message from their own workers that they refuse poverty pay and unsafe working condition; they demand dignity at work and a union to represent them.”

A spokesperson for Amazon said: “Our employees have the choice of whether or not to join a union. They always have.

"We regularly review our pay to ensure we offer competitive wages and benefits. Our minimum starting pay has increased to £12.30 and £13 per hour depending on location, that’s a 20% increase over two years and 50% since 2018.

"We also work hard to provide great benefits, a positive work environment and excellent career opportunities.

"These are just some of the reasons people want to come and work at Amazon, whether it’s their first job, a seasonal role or an opportunity for them to advance their career.”