Amazon faces Black Friday strike action as GMB members announced four fresh industrial action dates at Coventry. More than 1,000 Amazon workers are set to walk 7, 8 and 9 November, as well as Black Friday – the 24th of November. But this is the tip of the iceberg, and part of a coordinated action on Black Friday, by the Make Amazon Pay group, which will see strikes take place in 30 countries around the world.
The GMB have criticised the Amazon’s pay offer of a £1 increase after, they say, Amazon spent millions fighting their own workers over union rights at the company.
The Make Amazon Pay campaign has been co-organised by UNI Global Union and Progressive International and lists dozens of lobbying bodies and unions from around the world who are supporting the movement.
Make Amazon Pay list five goals, only one of which is pay – in addition to pay and working conditions, they also want Amazon to stop using contractors, allow unionization, operate sustainably, and what they loosely describe as ‘Pay back to society’, which includes everything from paying more tax in countries where economic activity takes place to stopping development of ‘mass surveillance devices’ such as the Ring Doorbell.
These strike dates will bring total days lost to industrial action to nearly 30. This is an unprecedented and historic moment with low paid workers taking on one of the world’s most powerful corporations. This is our members’ response to the failure of Amazon bosses to listen.
Coventry is the beating heart of Amazon’s distribution network; strike action here on Black Friday will ripple throughout the company’s UK logistics. As Black Friday looms, Amazon must urgently reconsider their priorities or risk strike action causing widespread disruption to customers and the public.– Rachel Fagan, Organiser, GMB
As with most Amazon strikes, while it will be annoying for the company, it’s unlikely to have a serious detrimental impact, at least in the UK. Much as the GMB might want you to believe the industrial action will prevent Amazon delivering your purchases, in reality the Coventry warehouse doesn’t directly fulfil any customer orders but is a staging depot for goods to restock other Amazon facilities.