Amazon UK Strike action is seeing workers walk out, protesting over a pay rise which is no where near enough to cover the cost of living crisis. While Amazon refuse to work with unions, both the GMB and Unite have pledged to stand behind workers.
Amazon have given a 35p pay rise taking minimum starting rates to between £10.50 and £11.45 per hour, which while it’s significantly above the minimum wage and comes with a raft of benefits isn’t going to help workers facing a cost of living crisis. Workers are calling for an arbitrary £2.00 per hour pay rise and sadly even that isn’t going to make much of a dent in soaring food and fuel costs that families across the country are facing.
Amazon is one of the most profitable companies on the planet. They made a fortune through the pandemic when people were unable to shop on the High Street. Now, with household costs spiralling, the least they can do is offer their workers decent pay.
Amazon continues to reject working with trade unions to deliver better working conditions and fair pay. Their repeated use of short-term contracts is designed to undermine worker’s rights.
The image the company likes to project, and the reality for their workers, could not be more different. They need to drastically improve pay and working conditions.– Steve Garelick, Regional Organiser, GMB
Amazon UK strike action has been taking place in Tilbury, Dartford, Belvedere, Hemel Hempstead, and Chesterfield. In some cases the Amazon UK strike has seen workers slow down their work to one package an hour so that they are still paid and in other areas workers are walking out entirely.
Unite the union will stand with any Amazon worker who takes action against this insulting 35p pay offer. Across the country workers are taking action and winning the proper pay rises they deserve. Workers at Amazon – one of the wealthiest companies on earth – deserve nothing less.
This brave action shows why Amazon workers need a collective voice of their own. It’s time this company came to the table and agreed union protection and a proper pay deal for these workers– Sharon Graham, General Secretary, Unite the Union
Expect to see much more news of strikes and protests this summer – Unions are flexing their muscles as their members face seriously constrained budgets and in many cases actual poverty. Unions exist to protect their members and even if businesses could afford to give record breaking pay rises, workers standards of living will still decline over the next year or so. Chances are, many will get a pay rise but it will be less than they want and less than than they need to keep pay level in real terms in the face of spiralling inflation.
Consumer may wonder if they will receive their Amazon purchases during any Amazon UK strike action and retailers with stock in FBA may be concerned that their goods won’t be delivered to customers. While the strikes may receive high profile in media coverage, it is unlikely that they will seriously impact shipments as Amazon have over 70,000 workers in the UK and industrial action at one fulfilment centre won’t impact the rest of the vast network of warehouses across the country.
Even with some of the workers at five location protesting, there are 19 Amazon fulfilment centres in operation so the vast majority are running normally without disruption.