A union has said it will call for a boycott of plans for a massive Amazon facility at Scholes near Cleckheaton if the company makes it difficult for workers to organise.
This follows concerns about the number of jobs advertised on Amazon’s site and doubts about whether they materialized. Opponents of the program have expressed concern that the majority of jobs created will be low-skilled or unskilled.
Now the GMB union, which campaigns for better working conditions for Amazon workers, says its “main objective” will be to secure recognition and settlement agreements with Amazon and ensure that the company adheres to the new West Yorkshire Fair Work Charter. GMB’s lead organizer for Amazon in Yorkshire, Pete Davies, said the union will ask Kirklees Council to put as much pressure as possible on Amazon to ensure GMB has access to recruitment for all workers it company employs “if this planned new investment materializes”.
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Last year Kirklees Council planning officers said it was ‘acceptable in principle’ because of the 1,500 jobs it would create. That number has since risen to 2,400.
The plans are expected to come back to the committee over the summer. Mr Davies said: “If Amazon just remains silent on these issues, we will view this as another attempt to circumvent GMB.
“In this case, we will discourage the board from granting permission and support accordingly.” The huge base, recently revealed to be a distribution centre, is set to occupy 59 acres of farmland between Whitehall Road, Whitechapel Road and Junction 26 of the M62.
It has been described by critics as “absolutely monstrous” and equivalent in height to an eight-story tower and the length of three full-size football pitches side by side. Since coming to the planning committee last May, the proposal has been compared to other Amazon sites where green fields have been bulldozed, but final drafts have failed to come up with numbers. employment.
Among those who spoke was Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater. Ahead of her election last year, she called Amazon’s plan “totally inappropriate” and said much-valued green spaces should not be “traded off” for jobs.
That sentiment was partly echoed by Mr Davies, who commented: “We understand and sympathize with those who don’t want to see these huge warehouses popping up in their areas. We agree that we should not encourage multinationals to simply invest in West Yorkshire. for the unemployment figures and at all costs.
“But we are a union and our first priority must be to campaign for better opportunities for workers and better employment rights.” Action group Save Our Spen said a new report to the council setting out socio-economic benefits ‘paints a totally different picture of reality’ by outlining projections of up to 2,400 jobs.
A spokesperson said the group was “not against job creation”, but added: “There is already a surplus of low-skilled distribution vacancies in the region. All that development Amazon warehouses will make the situation worse.”