Amazon workers at the retailer’s Coventry warehouse are to stage a second series of strikes, this time totalling seven days.
The GMB says more than 350 members of staff at the West Midland fulfilment centre – where about 1,400 people work in total – will first walk out on February 28 and March 2 before downing tools Monday to Friday between March 13 and 17.
They are striking in protest at a 50p an hour wage offer – and instead want to see hourly wages rise to £15 from existing minimum rates of between £10.50 and £11.45 an hour, depending on location.
Amanda Gearing, GMB senior organiser, says: “This unprecedented week-long strike shows the anger among Amazon workers in Coventry. They work for one of the richest companies in the world, yet they have to work round the clock to keep themselves afloat.
“It’s sickening that Amazon workers in Coventry will earn just 8 pence above the NMW [National Minimum Wage] in April 2023. Amazon bosses can stop this industrial action by doing the right thing and negotiating a proper pay rise with workers.”
Amazon staff – at the same warehouse – took industrial action for the first time in the UK on January 25. The GMB has been campaigning on behalf of Amazon workers since 2013, but this year is the first time they have voted to take part in strike action. The union is not officially recognised by Amazon.
An Amazon spokesperson says: “A tiny proportion of our workforce is involved. In fact, according to the verified figures, only a fraction of 1% of our UK employees voted in the ballot – and that includes those who voted against industrial action.
“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. This represents 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.”
Amazon has also said that the dispute is not expected to impact deliveries to customers as the role of the Coventry hub is to supply stock to other Amazon fulfilment centres.
Amazon is ranked Elite in RXUK Top500 research.