Feeds

Amazon faces tribunal over ‘trade union’ sacking

Dotcom under the spotlight

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
Twitter: La la la, we have not heard of any NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES
If there are any on our site it is not our fault as we are not a PUBLISHER
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.