Amazon workers sign up as Britain’s first tech trade union launches
Posted on September 24, 2020 by Jonathan Symcox
The United Tech and Allied Workers (UTAW) has become Britain’s first tech trade union.
A branch of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), it is open to anyone who works for a tech firm, from developers to gig economy workers.
It also represents workers who develop or deploy technology in other industries; workers whose labour is a necessary part of a tech company’s operation; and tech students.
The UTAW said workers for eCommerce giant Amazon have already joined the union, which seeks to represent and fight for workers’ interests in the expanding tech sector.
Almost 10 per cent of British workers are in the tech industry. Currently, union membership in the sector stands at less than three per cent.
“The CWU has for some time been a viable option for workers in the tech industry looking to unionise, and already has members in the sector working for companies such as Amazon,” a statement read.
“The formation of this new branch seeks to expand our existing membership in the sector and provide existing and potential members a dedicated space within which to organise and collectivise to support and empower one another as we fight against exploitative business practices in the industry and for the improvement of every member’s working conditions.”
A spokesperson told Wired that workers from companies including Asos, Google, Monzo and Deliveroo are also planning to join.
“These tech sector workers are leading the way as a new generations realise the value of collectivising struggle and begging to self-organise to build industrial strength, and we are delighted they believe the CWU is the best union to help them achieve this,” CWU’s head of recruitment and organising Ray Ellis said.
“It’s clear from the meetings we’ve had with these activists and tech workers that they’re keen to both organise and unionise — and that they want to do this within the CWU.”