Feeds

Amazon faces tribunal over ‘trade union’ sacking

Dotcom under the spotlight

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

A former employee of Amazon.co.uk has appeared before an employment tribunal in Bedford claiming that he was dismissed for wanting to join a trade union.

Alex Ferguson claims he was sacked three days after bosses found out he was thinking of joining a trade union.

Amazon.co.uk "strongly refutes" Mr Ferguson's claim, insisting he was dismissed from his job "solely as a result of poor performance".

At an interim hearing, which finished today, Mr Ferguson attempted to win reinstatement in his job prior to a full tribunal hearing which is due to be held at the end of October. However, his request was rejected by the tribunal.

A spokeswoman for Amazon.co.uk told The Register: "We're pleased that the tribunal indicated that Mr Ferguson is not likely to succeed at a full hearing."

However, Amazon's take on today's ruling was rejected by the Transport and General Workers' Union (T&G), which insists the case will go all the way.

A spokeswoman for the T&G, which is backing Mr Ferguson, said: "We firmly believe we've got a case against Amazon for targeting employees wanting to join a trade union."

Amazon's relationship with trade unions has come under fire in the past with some branding it an "anti-union employer". Amazon denies this, claiming that it's up to individual employees to decide about union representation.

However, it's clear that Amazon prefers to keep unions at arm's length. In a statement the company said: "This is a fast moving business - we need to maintain our flexibility so we can continue to react quickly to our customers' needs. We don't believe union representation of our employees will enable us to do that."

In September 2001, Amazon staff in the UK were balloted on union recognition, but voted against it by a large majority. Instead, the company operates a "democratically elected Works Council" which Amazon claims represents the interests of employees.

"This ensures managers and employees work closely together. We don't want a third-party coming between us and our employees. We want to stay close to our staff," said Amazon. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.