A West Midlands Amazon warehouse is on the verge of a 7-day strike due to salary disputes, according to reports by a trade union.
The GMB union stated that its members in Coventry would walk out on February 28, March 2, and March 13-17, demanding a 43% pay rise to £15 per hour. Amazon has only offered a 5% increase to £10.50 per hour, while the legal minimum for workers over 23 is currently £10.42 per hour.
The strike comes after a 24-hour walkout last month, the first time an official strike has affected Amazon’s UK operations. Over 350 workers, around a quarter of Coventry’s staff, are expected to participate in the week-long strike.
On July 5 2021, Amazon appointed Andrew Jassy as their new CEO to succeed Jeff Bezos. In recent developments to counter slow economic growth with current advancements in the digital space, the mega online store resorted to laying off approximately 18,000 employees. This move came amid high inflation rates across the UK’s economy.
A GMB spokeswoman said that the walkout is designed to cause the most disruption over the Easter weekend and to hinder goods delivery.
Amanda Gearing, a GMB senior organiser, said: “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 8p above the 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.”
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.”