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Amazon warehouse staff escalate strike action in fight for better pay

Amazon warehouse staff escalate strike action in fight for better pay

The GMB union says the US tech firm still has time to negotiate a "proper" pay rise for its staff in Coventry.
A union representing hundreds of workers at an Amazon warehouse has revealed plans for seven more strike days.

The GMB union said its members in Coventry would now take further industrial action on 28 February, 2 March and between 13-17 March.

It marked an escalation in their pay fight, which began with a 24-hour strike last month - the first official walkout to hit the US tech firm's operations in the UK.

GMB said more than 350 staff, out of 1,400, would take part in the action - a rise on the 300 or so who were involved last month.

The site handles stock rather than customer orders.

Amazon, which has defended its pay and benefits package, signalled that it did not expect any disruption to orders if the strike went ahead.

Workers getting 'sickening' pay

Staff in Coventry want £15 an hour to help them navigate the cost of living crisis.

GMB senior organiser, Amanda Gearing, said: "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 8p above the 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 defends 'competitive pay'

An Amazon spokesperson said: "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% 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."

GMB senior organiser, Amanda Gearing, said: "Amazon bosses can stop this industrial action by doing the right thing and negotiating a proper pay rise with workers."
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