Amazon workers at Coventry warehouse kick-off three-day strike

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Coventry have gone on a three-day strike this week between Tuesday and Thursday as the company faces what the GMB Union has described as the “biggest day of strike action in company history”.

More than 1,000 workers at the site protesting this week are also set to strike on Black Friday – 24 November.

The strikes were announced last month after Amazon announced that it would spend £170 million on two tranches of pay rises for frontline operations staff in the UK over the next six months. The company said that minimum starting pay for its workforce of 75,000 in the country would increase by £1 an hour to £11.80-12.50 depending on the location from 15 October. The next pay rise will come in April 2024, increasing to between £12.30-13.00.

The UK’s minimum wage is £10.42 an hour for people 23 and over.

The GMB Union at the time derided the pay rise offer, saying that it was of “little comfort to the thousands of Amazon workers facing poverty pay, unsafe working conditions and workplace surveillance”.

The union also argued that Amazon has "spent millions fighting their own workers over union rights at the company."

Workers at the Coventry warehouse first launched industrial action in January over pay and working conditions.

Rachel Fagan, GMB Organiser, said: “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. As Black Friday looms, Amazon must urgently reconsider their priorities or risk strike action causing widespread disruption to customers and the public.”

In a statement, Amazon said: “We offer competitive pay, comprehensive benefits, opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern, work environment. At Amazon, these benefits and opportunities come with the job, as does the ability to communicate directly with the leadership of the company.”

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