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Amazon urged to engage positively with workers who organise into a trade union

AMAZON has been warned it “must engage positively with workers who organise into a trade union” as it opened its first fulfilment centre in Dublin.

eán McDonagh, general secretary of the Communications Workers Union, said the online retailer’s expansion in Ireland could potentially have a negative impact on other carriers, most notably, An Post.

“The Tánaiste welcomed the extension of Amazon’s presence in Ireland and the creation of jobs in their new fulfilment centre,” he said.

“We hope that Amazon will justify this welcome by respecting industrial relations mechanisms in Ireland and will engage positively with workers who organise into a trade union.”

He said it is well known that Amazon does not have a positive history globally, in terms of good industrial relations and its treatment of workers.

“It is of major concern that the company is anti-trade union,” he said.

“We are working with the ICTU and our international affiliates in UniGlobal to address our concerns.”

He said the CWU is aware that Amazon workers in other countries, including the US, are organising through unions to defend their rights and interests.

“As the primary trade union representing workers in the logistics and delivery sectors, the CWU welcomes Amazon workers into the union and looks forward to assisting them in dealing with the full range of employment and workplace issues,” he said.

“The potential for an operator of this scale to have a downward influence on existing pay and conditions in the industry is of particular concern.

“The expansion of Amazon’s operation in Ireland could potentially have a negative impact on other carriers, most notably on the national carrier An Post, which throughout Covid demonstrated it is an essential service, supporting small businesses, particularly in rural Ireland, and in the economy as a whole.”

He said there are no guarantees that deliveries will not include a reliance on the gig economy and low paid contractors.

“The CWU would wish to talk to Amazon on a range of issues that will benefit their employees and contractors and ensure that the company respects the industrial relations machinery that we have in the state,” he said.

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