Amazon workers announce strike date in first ever UK walkout

Amazon strike

The first ever strike by UK workers at online giant Amazon is to be held later this month, it has been announced.

Members of the GMB union based at a Coventry warehouse will walk out on January 25 in a dispute over pay after voting in favour of taking industrial action.

GMB senior organiser Amanda Gearing said the workers, who are in a pay dispute, were set to make history.

Amazon said it appreciated the work its teams carried out and they were offered competitive pay.

The union organiser said: “They’ve [the workers] shown they’re willing to put themselves on the line to fight for what’s right.

“But people working for one of the most valuable companies in the world shouldn’t have to threaten strike action just to win a wage they can live on.”

She urged Amazon UK bosses to give workers “a proper pay rise and avoid industrial action”.

Hundreds of workers voted to walk out over a 50p per hour pay offer, the GMB said.

Greaves stressed that workers at the Coventry site are having to deal with high-pressure working conditions with staff set targets to sort hundreds of items an hour. “If you’ve been there four years and it’s your fourth or fifth shift of the week, you might not be able to get that by three o’clock in the morning,” she said.

She added that resentment about what some colleagues felt was a paltry pay rise was particularly acute since Amazon staff were among those who worked throughout the pandemic. “We were classed as key workers. We worked all through Covid, none of us had any time off,” she added.

“GMB urges Amazon UK bosses to give workers a proper pay rise and avoid industrial action.”

An Amazon spokesman said: “We appreciate the great work our teams do throughout the year and we’re proud to offer competitive pay which starts at a minimum of between £10.50 and £11.45 per hour, depending on location — a 29 per cent increase in the minimum hourly wage paid to Amazon employees since 2018.

“Employees are also offered comprehensive benefits that are worth thousands more — including private medical insurance, life assurance, subsidised meals and an employee discount, to name a few.”

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