Here's why you might have seen a giant inflatable box in Hemel's Aspley Marina today
Campaigners unite in Hemel Hempstead to get fairer rights for Amazon workers
Campaigners floated a giant inflatable box in Aspley Marina, in Hemel Hempstead, today (June 16) to call on Amazon to sign up to a declaration which would guarantee workers the freedom to talk with and form a union without fear.
Unite is calling on Jeff Bezos to sign up to a declaration of neutrality. Unite says that Amazon tripled its profits off the backs of workers, and claims they are routinely prevented from having a collective voice in their workplace.
But Amazon says it offers 'excellent pay, excellent benefits and excellent opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern work environment' - and that its workers are already free to join a labour union without fear of reprisal, intimidation or harassment.
Unite has launched a confidential whistle-blowing hotline which has opened in the UK and Ireland. Amazon workers can blow the whistle and expose poor treatment free from reprisals by calling 08000 14 14 61 in the UK or 1800 851 268 for the Republic of Ireland or visiting actiononamazon.org/hotline.
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.
"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 those at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Hemel Hempstead, 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."
An Amazon spokesperson said: “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.
"Across Amazon, including in our fulfilment centres, we place enormous value on having daily conversations with each associate 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.”