Amazon shares ended the US Friday trading session in the green, ahead of news Monday that the UK’s GMB union is beginning legal action against three firms who employ Amazon delivery drivers.
The action is being taken as the self-employed drivers are actually treated more like employees but aren’t in receipt of any of the benefits associated with being an employee.
Amazon shares rose 0.73% to end the US Friday session at $1,641.51. The stock is currently trading higher in pre-market activity.
Amazon delivery drivers’ legal action
The UK’s GMB union said Monday that it is representing the drivers of three delivery firms used to deliver Amazon parcels. They are:
- Prospect Commercials Limited.
- Box Group Limited.
- Lloyd Link Logistics Limited.
“GMB say the drivers were employees, and the companies used the bogus self- employment model to wrongly deny them employment rights such as the national minimum wage and holiday pay,” the union said in a press release.
“Amazon is a global company that makes billions,” said GMB general secretary, Tim Roache. “It’s absolutely galling that they refuse to afford the people who make that money for them even the most basic rights, pay and respect.”
“Guaranteed hours, holiday pay, sick pay, pension contributions are not privileges companies can dish out when they fancy. They are the legal right of all UK workers, and that's what we're asking the courts to rule on,” Roache added.
Amazon’s delivery providers contracted to provide a living wage
While the action is being brought against delivery companies used by Amazon and not Amazon itself, the global tech giant has commented on the GMB’s action.
An Amazon spokesman said in a statement that the UK delivery providers it uses have all signed contracts in which they are obligated to pay their drivers who deliver for Amazon the National Living Wage of a minimum of £12 per hour.
“Allegations to the contrary do not represent the great work done by around 100 small businesses generating thousands of work opportunities for delivery drivers across the UK,” the statement said.
“Amazon is proud to offer a wide variety of work opportunities across Britain – full-time or part-time employment, or be your own boss,” the spokesman added.