By 24/06/2017 0 Comments

The Bakers Union Launches Important Campaign at Amazon.com to Fight for Workers Rights

Working for mammoth corporations like Amazon is an unfortunate necessity of life for many workers. Profits and working conditions for the bosses are generous to say the least, while the opposite is true for Amazon’s countless thousands of employees.

Business is booming, and an article in the Financial Times made this absolutely clear: “In 1996, Amazon had $15.8m of net sales. For 2016, that amount was $136bn.” But tragically a similar improvement in basic work place rights has not been forthcoming, which owes much to Amazons longstanding and well-documented opposition to trade unions.

Financial Times and Amazon

In their latest Annual Report, Amazon autocrat Jeff Bezos admits that “Our Employees… will continue to be, the single most important element of Amazon.com’s success… We are incredibly fortunate to have this group of dedicated employees whose sacrifices and passion build Amazon.com.”

Managers are well aware that their own profits are all derived from their staff’s hard work, but this doesn’t mean they feel obliged to treat their staff fairly.

Customers’ needs, however, always come before the needs of their employees, thus Bezos writes: “It’s not easy to work here (when I interview people I tell them, ‘You can work long, hard, or smart, but at Amazon.com you can’t choose two out of three’)…” The least his workers deserve in response is a real living wage, something that Amazon is adamant they cannot afford?!

Amazon still

Workers not only continue to struggle to live on low pay, but they are also treated with contempt, like modern-day slaves. Amazon workers must struggle to meet unreasonable targets to maintain their bosses’ profits and are then, when they become ill from working so hard, they are punished for not coming to work. And all this coming from a corporation that in 2013 received more money in grants from the British government than it paid in tax!

The only way that workers can turn-around this abominable situation is by organising together to ensure they have a collective voice against their very well-organised bosses. This process is presently being given a helping hand by the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) who are focusing their decades of organising experience in making sure Amazon workers have a loud voice in their workplace that the bosses will no longer be able to ignore.

As the Bakers Union explain in their just-released “Organising Amazon” video, without representation in the workplace, workers leave themselves open to exploitation. Without union representation the individual voices of workers will simply not be heard on critically important issues like fair pay, the setting of reasonable working hours, and the nature of holiday and sick leave.

“Together we’re stronger,” they point out, and the more people who join the Baker Union, the “louder your voice gets” which enables workers to be in a better position “to negotiate terms and conditions” and have a “greater the impact… on Amazon’s decision-making.”

“Your voice can and must be heard,” the union emphasises, as how else can workers stand united (with the assistance of experienced union representatives) in opposing workplace inequality and in striving to eliminate bullying and discrimination of all forms.

Ongoing efforts to unionise Amazon will need to be both national and international in scope, and the Bakers Union is certainly up to the task. For example, in recent years the Bakers Union have led successful campaigns against the use of zero-hours contracts in the food industry, and supported the successful campaign for a $15 an hour living wage in America.

This is why the union believes there is no time like the present to act:  “Now’s the time to join your union and to get your fellow workers to join too.”

For further details contact the Bakers Union www.bfawu.org by:

  • calling 0121 237 3720
  • emailing region3@bfawu.org
  • or contacting George Atwall on 07739 326 009
Posted in: BFAWU, Organising

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