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Amazon warehouse workers begin first ever UK strike ballot

GMB Union

Amazon workers at a Coventry warehouse will be ‘making history’ as they become the first in the UK to take part in a formal strike ballot over pay.

A statement from the the GMB union said hundreds of workers will begin voting on whether to walk out in anger over the company’s 35 pence per hour pay offer. The ballot closes on 19 October, with any industrial action likely to take place in November.

Amazon workers across the UK have already staged informal protests in anger at a 3% pay offer from the ecommerce giant.

Amanda Gearing, GMB senior organiser, said: “These Amazon worker will be the first ever in the UK to take part in a formal strike ballot – they’re making history.

“They’re being offered 35p an hour during the worst cost of living crisis in a generation – and that’s from a company worth more than £1 trillion.

“Understandably, they are furious. Amazon can afford to do better. It’s not too late to avoid strike action; get round the table with GMB to improve the pay and conditions of workers.”

This talk of industrial action in the UK follows staff at Amazon logistics centres in France walking out as part of a staged protest over an annual pay rise dispute.

Amazon had previously stressed that it had increased pay to a minimum of between £10.50 and £11.45 an hour, depending on location.

“This represents a 29% increase in the minimum hourly wage paid to Amazon associates since 2018,” the company had said.

“On top of this, employees are offered a comprehensive benefits package that includes private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection, subsidised meals, an employee discount and more, which combined are worth thousands of pounds annually, as well as a company pension plan.”

Amazon is only the latest company to face strike action this year, with Royal Mail posties taking action earlier this month and more than 1,900 members of the Unite union began industrial action at Felixstowe Port in August.

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