A UNION has been continuing its campaign targeting working practices at Amazon at the company's Darlington fulfilment centre.

Unite has accused Amazon of "anti-union tactics" and says workers have raised concerns about issues such as bullying, mandatory overtime, surveillance and production targets.

Unite members backing the "Action against Amazon" action were in Darlington yesterday.

It is calling on the company to sign a declaration of neutrality, which it says would guarantee workers the freedom to talk with and form a union without fear.

It launched a national worker hotline in March.

Catherine Anderson, who is running the campaign in the North-East, said there had been an "astonishing" response from Amazon workers, though declined to say how many people had contacted it.

Amazon is now a major employer in the region, with fulfilment centres in Darlington and near Bowburn, in County Durham.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “We respect our employees’ right to join, form, or not to join a labour union or other lawful organisation of their own selection, without fear of reprisal, intimidation, or harassment. Across Amazon, including in our fulfilment centres, we place enormous value on having daily conversations with each associate and work to make sure direct engagement with our employees is a strong part of our work culture.

"The fact is, we already offer excellent pay, excellent benefits and excellent opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern work environment. The unions know this.”

Unite executive officer, Sharon Graham said: “Amazon’s profits have tripled off the backs of workers who have been essential during the pandemic. But the company continues to be plagued by reports of poor working conditions and anti-union tactics.

"Amazon workers are not currently free to join a union without fear, and without obstruction and propaganda being deployed against them. Workers have serious concerns about issues such as bullying, mandatory overtime, intense surveillance, break-neck production targets and much more besides. Amazon workers need an independent voice to stand up against injustices in the workplace.

"Unite has recently written to Jeff Bezos in response to claims from the company about respecting UK workers’ rights to join and form a union. Our union is calling on the company to make a clear commitment and sign up to a declaration of neutrality. The declaration would guarantee workers the freedom to talk with and form a union without fear. If the company is genuine then it should be more than happy to sign the declaration."