Co-operative Group pressured to axe Amazon’s in-store lockers
The GMB union is calling on the Co-operative Group to cut commercial ties with Amazon.
The union has asked the Group to remove Amazon pick-up lockers from 160 food stores and is asking the Co-op membership to pressure the Group's management.
The union's aim is to draw attention to the poor pay and working conditions that currently exist in Amazon warehouses, believing that these do not fit well with the Co-ops ethical ethos.
GMB national officer Martin Smith said: “We intend to take the issue to the wider membership of the co-operative movement. Why it allows a competitor like Amazon floor space is hard to understand. The Co-operative has a real cuckoo in the ethical nest."
“Freedom of association is one of the key freedoms in a democracy,” said Mr Smith. “Co-operative members should not be associated with Amazon while they deny their staff the freedom to combine and be collectively represented by GMB.”
The union is calling on the support of Group members to ensure Amazon improves security of employment and treats workers fairly.
According to an article in Co-op news the union wrote to the Group’s interim chief executive Richard Pennycook to outline the “slave-like working conditions, poor levels of pay [and] rampant tax avoidance” of the organisation.
The Group replied that it had to balance its ethical values when making business operation decisions. Nick Folland, Chief External Affairs Officer at the Co-operative added that the Co-op are “meeting the needs of changing shopping habits, making our service offerings more relevant to a younger generation, giving consumers a reason to come to the high-street in their local community (where many of our stores are located) and reducing environmental impacts as the miles to deliver and collect these products are reduced“.
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