Amazon workers taking part in the first ever UK strike have been marked as a ‘no show’ by the company – effectively an unauthorised absence.
Around 350 workers at the company’s Coventry warehouse walked on Wednesday [25 January] in a dispute over pay.
Workers are now worried they will be fined, or even face a gross misconduct charge.
Properly mandated industrial action gives workers the legal right to withdraw their labour – and should not be classed as unauthorised absence.
GMB is now demanding clarity from the company.
One Amazon Coventry workers, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “’It makes me fear for my job as it is considered gross misconduct. I feel targeted for taking legal industrial action.”
Stuart Richards, GMB Senior Organiser, said, “We hope and believe this is just an error on Amazon’s part, rather than an attempt to intimidate workers taking legal industrial action.
“But Amazon need to sort it out and quick. Coventry workers did an incredibly brave thing taking on one of the world’s biggest companies.
“Now it feels like they’re being bullied.”
Rosa Curling, Director of Legal Group Foxglove added, “It is shocking to hear that Amazon workers exercising their legal right to strike in Coventry yesterday may be punished.
“If these reports are true, Amazon is acting unlawfully. Amazon needs to make this right and quick.
“They need to state loud and clear they respect the rights of Amazon workers in the UK to take legal strike action and give cast-iron assurances that no worker who took part in Wednesday’s lawful industrial action will face any kind of disciplinary action as a result.”