For the first time ever, hundreds of Amazon employees in the UK have today walked off the job to protest salary.
Workers from the GMB union at the company’s fulfillment center in Coventry are taking part in industrial action today in order to press for wage raises in the face of significant cost-of-living hikes.
Workers said they had got a “pathetic” 50p per hour salary increase offer from the company, which reported a £204 million profit in 2021, and the union put them to a vote in December.
Amazon claims that it pays its employees “competitively,” that just a “small fraction” of its UK employees are participating in the strike, and that deliveries are unaffected.
Following comparable strikes in the United States and Germany, this is the first time the company’s employees have taken industrial action in the United Kingdom.
It follows a strike by Royal Mail employees that disrupted holiday shopping and the delivery of Christmas cards to loved ones.
Before Wednesday’s protest, Stuart Richards, a senior GMB organizer, declared: “Amazon employees in Coventry will create history today.”
They overcame all obstacles to become the first Amazon employees in the UK to walk out.
They are fighting for a livable wage by taking on one of the largest corporations in the world. They have every reason to be proud of themselves.
“GMB asks Amazon UK managers to do the right thing and offer employees a genuine wage hike,” it says. “After six months of disregarding all pleas to listen to workers’ concerns.”
After demonstrations at Amazon facilities in Coventry, Tilbury, Essex, Bristol, Rugeley, and Staffordshire, hundreds of union members decisively voted in favor of strike action during their poll in December.
Amazon says that their minimum wage for employees has grown by 29% during 2018, despite the company’s refusal to recognize the GMB.
According to a representative, just a small part of our employees is engaged.
According to confirmed data, just 0.01% of our UK workers participated in the vote, and that number includes those who chose not to support industrial action.
We’re delighted to provide competitive pay that begins at a minimum of between £10.50 and £11.45 per hour, depending on region, and we recognize the excellent job our staff perform throughout the year.
The minimum hourly pay provided to Amazon workers has increased by 29% since 2018.
Employees are also given extensive perks worth thousands more, such as employee discounts, subsidised meals, private medical insurance, and life insurance, to mention a few.