The Co-op has faced criticism after announcing its new partnership with Amazon and extending robot deliveries in a bid to more than double online sales by the end of the year.
The partnership, which allows Amazon Prime users to do their entire Co-op grocery order via Amazon with same-day delivery and two-hour scheduled slots being made available.
All orders over £40 will be delivered for free and £3.99 for orders under £40, with a minimum shop of £15.
The partnership launched in Glasgow yesterday, including surrounding areas such as Hamilton and Paisley, and will be rolled out to other parts of the UK before the end of the year, with the aim of it becoming a nationwide service at an unconfirmed date.
However, according to trade union GMB, Co-op customers will be “rightly shocked” by the new Amazon deal.
GMB National Officer Andy Prendergast said it is “disappointing” to see a company with a proud ethical heritage like Co-op teaming up with Amazon: “a tax-evading multinational with a horrifying health and safety record”.
He said: “Workers in Amazon warehouses are treated like robots.
“They are knocked unconscious, suffer broken bones and are taken away in ambulances in their desperate pursuit of unrealistic targets.
“Meanwhile Amazon has made billions throughout the pandemic and pays virtually no tax. Bosses won’t even recognise a union to improve the health and safety of their beleaguered workforce.
“Co-op customers will be rightly shocked by who the supermarket is getting into bed with.”
The Co-op also announced it is extending its partnership with Starship Technologies, the robot company launched by the co-founders of Skype, which allows the delivery of groceries in as little as 20 minutes.
Responding to GMB’s comments, a Co-op spokesperson told Grocery Gazette: “We aren’t compromising our ethics and principles and the extension of the partnership is about getting our ethically sourced products into the hands of more people.
“It reflects the support Co-op members have shown for Amazon’s products by using its lockers and click and collect services through hundreds of our stores for a number of years.
“We also see major opportunities in co-operating with one of the world’s biggest tech companies to tackle some of the big issues, from climate change to youth skills and opportunities.”