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Amazon Getting Rid Of Staff

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

GMB Call On Amazon To Follow Legal Requirements On Redundancy Situations At UK Locations

Amazon should submit a HR1 notice to the Secretary of State and then undertake a proper consultation exercise before selecting any staff to go says GMB.

GMB, the union for staff at Amazon, is calling on the company to adhere to the legal requirements regarding collective consultation on dealing with redundancies as it seeks volunteers to apply to leave the company at a number of locations in the UK including Swansea and Milton Keynes.

A redundancy situation applies where an employer’s need for staff has diminished or ceased. The law states that when proposing to make redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment within 90 days, an employer must:

  • consult with any recognised trade union or, if none, with other elected employee representatives
  • start consultation in good time – at least 30 or 45 days before the first dismissal takes effect depending on the number of proposed redundancies. No dismissals can take effect until consultation is complete and the minimum period of 30 or 45 days has elapsed
  • consult on ways of avoiding dismissals, reducing the numbers to be made redundant and mitigating the effect of the dismissals
  • disclose in writing to the appropriate representatives certain information concerning the proposed dismissals
  • notify the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills at least 30 or 45 days in advance of the first dismissal taking effect, depending on the number of proposed redundancies.

Amazon has operations in Croydon, Doncaster, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Gourock, Hemel Hemstead, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Rugeley, Swansea, Slough, Holborn in London, Dublin and Cork. Amazon told MPs in May 2014 that it had 7,000 employees in UK of which 5,800 are permanent staff in the UK distribution depots. It said that it had up to 15,000 seasonal staff in run up to Christmas 2013.

Elly Baker, GMB lead officer for Amazon, said “Amazon is bypassing the law when it comes to redundancies and getting rid of staff.

At both Swansea and Milton Keynes members of staff have been verbally asked to consider voluntarily applying to leave the company for a lump sum of up to £3,500 which is less than the statutory amount due in many cases.

The company have been asked and refused to put this offer in writing. This is in spite of the fact that members of staff who applied and were accepted to go found that the amount they were paid was less than the sums promised.

This is not how a redundancy situation should be dealt with in the UK. Amazon should submit a HR1 notice to the Secretary of State and then undertake a proper consultation exercise before selecting any staff to go. Amazon is dealing with this like AA did when they targeted staff to go. As happened at AA GMB will defend our members at Amazon.”

End

Contact: Elly Baker  07918 768 773 or Martin Smith 07974 251 722 or Richard Owen 07974 179285 or Jeff Beck 07980 753 112 in Wales.

 

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