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Co-op deal with Amazon ‘shocking’, says union GMB

CO-OP customers “will be rightly shocked” by the retailer’s new online deal with transnational giant Amazon, the GMB union said today.

The member-owned group has entered an alliance with Amazon that aims to more than double the Co-op’s online sales by the end of the year, alongside the continued rollout of robot technology to offer “super-fast” deliveries nationwide.

GMB is among a number of unions worldwide seeking to organise Amazon workers in the face of determined union-busting tactics.

It urged Co-op members to reject the introduction of Amazon lockers in its stores in 2014.

National officer Andy Prendergast said: “It's really disappointing to see a company with a proud ethical heritage like Co-op teaming up with Amazon, a tax-evading multinational with a horrifying health-and-safety record.

“Workers in Amazon warehouses are treated like robots.

“They are knocked unconscious, suffer broken bones and are taken away in ambulances in their desperate pursuit of unrealistic targets.

“Meanwhile, Amazon has made billions throughout the pandemic and pays virtually no tax.

“Bosses won’t even recognise a union to improve the health and safety of their beleaguered workforce.”

A Co-op spokesman said: “We aren’t compromising our ethics and principles and the extension of the partnership is about getting our ethically sourced products into the hands of more people.

“It reflects the support Co-op members have shown for Amazon’s products by using its lockers and click-and-collect services through hundreds of our stores for a number of years.

“We also see major opportunities in co-operating with one of the world’s biggest tech companies to tackle some of the big issues, from climate change to youth skills and opportunities.”

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