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Amazon workers to strike during Prime Day event

Image credit// InternetRetailing

Around 900 Amazon workers at its Coventry warehouse are set to strike for three days from tomorrow (11 July 2023) in a dispute over pay, coinciding with the ecommerce giant’s two-day Amazon Prime Day event.

The walkout will take place from 11 July-13 July, with warehouse employees to walk out for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening on the three days.

“GMB members in Coventry have time and time again shown that this fight will only end with £15 an hour and union rights,” GMB senior organiser Rachel Fagan said.

However, according to the ecommerce giant, its Coventry site does not directly serve customer orders, resulting in no disruptions to customers.

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The two-day event is expected to drive £1.2 billion of online spending, an increase of 92% compared with normal spending levels, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index.

The move follows employees voting for six months more industrial action over pay.

At the time, GMB senior organiser Amanda Gearing said: “Amazon call pull all the dirty tricks it wants; hiring extra staff to deny workers their right to a voice in the workplace is an obstacle, but it is not unsurmountable.

“These workers are angry, they know their rights and they will not go away.”

Last month, Amazon was accused by the trade union of playing “dirty tricks” after it was forced to withdraw its bid for recognition.

GMB claimed the ecommerce giant went on a “massive recruitment drive” following the request for recognition and alleged that company was paying an additional 1,300 workers “to try to bust the union”.

However speaking to InternetRetailing, Amazon site manager for the Dartford LCY3 fulfilment site, John McEwen employees have “the right to choose whether or not they want to join a union. However, we benefit from our direct relationship with our employees”.

He said: “At Amazon, these benefits and opportunities come with the job, as does the ability to communicate directly with the leadership of the company.

“We thrive off getting direct feedback from our employees and review concerns daily to make sure we can improve the working experience.”

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Amazon is ranked as an Elite retailer in RXUK Top500 research, which highlights how the leaders in this market are proving flexible and adaptable in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – and the knock-on effects from rising energy costs leading to inflation.

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