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Question ref. S6W-05648
Asked by: Katy Clark, West Scotland, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 11 January 2022

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the recommendations in the Amnesty International report, Amazon, let workers unionize! Respect for workers’ rights is not a choice.

Current status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 20 January 2022


Answer

The Scottish Government agrees with Amnesty International on the importance of meeting international human rights law and standards, and welcomes the recommendations in the report. Both public authorities and private enterprises have a responsibility to ensure that human rights are respected and protected in the workplace. These rights include the right to join and form trade unions, and to enjoy safe and healthy working conditions.

The Scottish Government notes that Amazon acknowledges these obligations, which are further underlined by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. It is important that such commitments are given practical effect in a manner that ensures the rights of employees are properly respected across all aspects of a company’s operations, both in Scotland and in a global context.

The Scottish Government is very clear that trade unions are social partners and play an essential role in promoting good employment practice and in ensuring that Scotland’s workers have an effective voice.

Under the current constitutional settlement, employment law (including trade union law) is reserved to the UK Parliament. The long-standing position of the Scottish Government is that employment law should be devolved, so that all necessary action can be taken in Scotland to protect and improve workers’ rights and to create fairer and more inclusive workplaces.