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Amazon to close three UK warehouses


Amazon plans to close its distribution centres in Hemel Hempstead, Doncaster and Gourock, in the west of Scotland, with 1,200 staff to be offered roles at other Amazon locations.

The news follows reports last week that the ecommerce giant will cut 18,000 jobs this year, across its global operation, as it attempts to cope in the “uncertain economy”.

However, Amazon is still planning to open new sites at Peddimore in the West Midlands and Stockton-on-Tees in the North East. It said this would create 2,500 jobs over the next three years.

A spokesperson explained: “We’re always evaluating our network to make sure it fits our business needs and to improve the experience for our employees and customers.

“As part of that effort, we may close older sites, enhance existing facilities or open new sites, and we’ve launched a consultation on the proposed closure of three fulfilment centres in 2023.”

Later this month, workers at Amazon’s Coventry warehouse will walk out on industrial action, in a UK first. Hundreds of Amazon workers at the fulfilment centre have voted to strike in anger over the company’s 50p per hour pay offer.

The ballot, which closed on the 16 December 2022, saw a majority of more than 98% of workers vote to strike as they demand an increase to £15 per hour.

Amanda Gearing, senior organiser, GMB Union, said that Amazon works have “shown they’re willing to put themselves on the line to fighting for what’s right”.

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

While Amazon stated that pay rates, depending on location, start at a minimum of between £10.50 and £11.45 per hour – representing a 29% increase in the minimum hourly wage paid to employees since 2018. It added that employees are also offered comprehensive benefits that are worth thousands more – including private medical insurance, life assurance, subsidised meals and an employee discount.

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