Whistleblowing hotline set up for Amazon workers in Durham and Darlington

A WHISTLEBLOWING hotline for workers at Amazon Durham and Darlington has been set up by a union to report “poor treatment and working practices.”

Unite the Union has said workers in Fulfilment Centres at Integra 61 in Bowburn and Symmetry Park near Darlington are being urged to report concerns using their hotline.

It comes as it has today launched its campaign ‘Action on Amazon,’ saying that it is demanding a ‘new deal’ for its staff who are losing out to the firm’s ‘enormous profits.’

SEE MORE: Amazon Durham ‘taking matters seriously’ after workers’ motorbikes stolen

But Amazon has since refuted any suggestion it does not offer its workers ‘excellent’ pay, benefits and opportunities, while saying it offers staff a ‘safe and modern’ workplace.

Campaigners from Unite are today expected to meet in Durham City Centre and in Darlington town centre marking the start of their campaign.

The union, which says workers have worked against a backdrop of reports of poor working conditions, claims Amazon staff are unable to “gain a collective voice” over concerns.

Sharon Graham, Unite executive officer, said: “Unite has opened a confidential hotline for Amazon workers in Durham to blow the whistle on poor treatment and working practices.

“Amazon attacks all attempts by workers to gain a collective voice of their own.

“This is why Unite is launching ‘Action on Amazon’ to give Amazon workers a voice, so they don’t have to rely on whistle-blowing or calling confidential hotlines.”

“Jeff Bezos has become the world’s richest man off the backs of workers who have played a crucial part in so many people’s lives during the pandemic.

“It is prime time Amazon gave workers in Durham and Darlington the right to be in a Union and to do so without interference, bullying and intimidation.”

SEE MORE: 17 pictures inside Amazon Durham as it prepares for one of the busiest times of the year

In response, Amazon refuted claims made on pay and conditions at its sites in the North-East and across the UK.

Amazon said it respected employees’ right to join, form or not to join a labour union or other lawful organisation of their own selection.

A spokesperson for Amazon said: “The fact is we already offer our employees excellent pay, excellent benefits and excellent opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern work environment.

“Our competitive wages start at £9.70 or £10.80 per hour depending on location, and we’d encourage anyone to compare this to the wages and benefits offered by other retailers.

“We’re proud to have created 10,000 new permanent roles across the UK in 2020, taking our total permanent UK workforce to more than 40,000.

“Our people have played a critical role in serving customers in these unprecedented times and the new roles help us continue to meet customer demand and support small and medium sized businesses selling on Amazon.”

To view the hotline visit actiononamazon.org/hotline/

The Northern Echo | Durham