January 30, 2023

Amazon warehouse workers walk out in first UK strike

2 min read

About 300 of the 1,000 workers at the Coventry fulfillment center are protesting. Amazon’s pay rose 5% last year, far below cost-of-living increases.

Food and energy prices have risen in the UK, with consumer prices rising by 10.5% in the 12 months to December. This has sparked the country’s biggest wave of industrial action in decades as workers across the economy see their living standards plummet. Average UK wages are set to fall this year. 2006 levels Once inflation is taken into account.

Amazon’s pay rise boosted the hourly rate for workers in Coventry to £10.50 ($12.92). That leaves it just a shade short of the national minimum wage for people aged 23 and over starting in April.

The workers are asking for £15 ($18.49) an hour, which the GMB union said would be in line with pay. On Amazon in the United States. Starting salary for warehouse workers in the United States Average $19 an hour After the company’s latest addition in September.
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“They are taking on one of the biggest companies in the world to fight for a better standard of living,” GMB senior organizer Stuart Richards said in a statement. “After six months of ignoring all requests for workers’ concerns to be heard, the GMB urges Amazon UK bosses to do the right thing and give workers a fair pay rise.”

An Amazon spokesman, who does not expect the strike to affect deliveries, said the company is “proud to offer competitive pay,” which ranges from £10.50 to £11.45 ($12.92 to $14.09) depending on location. Starting from hourly.

“Employees are also offered comprehensive benefits worth thousands,” including private medical insurance, subsidized meals and employee discounts, the spokesperson said.

The strike comes as workers in the United States continue to organize and push for collective bargaining rights.

Amazon employees at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, made history last year when they voted to form the first labor union at one of the company’s U.S. facilities. Amazon has refused to formally recognize or bargain with the Amazon labor union, which was recently confirmed by regulators.

Amazon, like other big tech companies, is trying to reduce its labor costs, which darkens the global economic outlook. After being laid off during the pandemic, the company announced earlier this month that she would be laying off More than 18,000 employees.

“Companies that last a long time go through different stages,” CEO Andy Jessee said in a memo to workers. “They’re not in an extended mode of heavy people every year.”

— Katherine Thorbeck and Hana Zaida contributed reporting.

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