Amazon workers go on ‘historic’ strike — RT Business News


UK workers demand higher pay and better conditions, say ‘robots will be treated better’

Unionized Amazon workers in the UK have gone on strike for the first time. They complain that their wages are below inflation and describe their working conditions as follows “severe”.

GMB union members working at a retail warehouse in Coventry a “historical” The industrial action comes after Amazon last month offered to raise wages by 50 pence (62 cents) an hour. The workers gave up what they called a “sneer” pay rise, calling for a £15 ($18.48) hourly increase instead.

The 24-hour strike began just after midnight on Wednesday, with the GMB expecting 300 of the factory’s 1,000 workers to strike.

“After six months of ignoring all requests to hear workers’ concerns, GMB is calling on Amazon UK bosses to do the right thing and give workers a proper pay rise,” GMB lead organizer Stuart Richards said in a statement.

Last August, Amazon proposed a pay rise from £10.50 to £11.45 an hour, which staff interviewed by the BBC said was significant. “slap in the mouth” given the company’s profits and runaway inflation.

“These people worked for two years during the pandemic that saw Amazon’s stock explode, they saw that the profits were simply unimaginable.” This was reported by Darren Westwood, a warehouse employee of the company.

The strikers are also demanding better working conditions, complaining of long working hours, frequent injuries and a relentless pace of work, as well as more aggressive and improved monitoring of workers.

“The other day someone said we were treated like robots – no, robots are treated better.” Westwood told CNBC.

In response, Amazon said in a statement that the scale of the strike “Just 1% of our UK workforce.” The move comes as the US tech giant is cutting 18,000 jobs worldwide to adjust to a sharp slowdown in online sales after consumers resumed shopping offline before the pandemic began.

The company delayed opening new warehouses and stopped hiring in its retail group. Earlier, Amazon said it plans to close three of its UK warehouses, affecting around 1,200 employees.

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