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UK Amazon workers ‘make history’ as they strike for the first time

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Hundreds of workers at Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Coventry have walked out today in a dispute over pay.

The staff are members of GMB union which is demanding a pay rise amid increases in the cost of living.

An industrial action ballot in December saw 98% of workers vote to strike. 

As well as poor pay, staff have complained about grueling shifts, constant micromanagement and surveillance, and punishment if strict time frames are not met.

Stuart Richards, GMB senior organiser, said: “Today, Amazon workers in Coventry will make history. They’ve defied the odds to become the first ever Amazon workers in the UK to go on strike. 

“They’re taking on one of the world’s biggest companies to fight for a decent standard of living. They should be rightly proud of themselves.  

“After six months of ignoring all requests to listen to workers’ concerns, GMB urges Amazon UK bosses to do the right thing and give workers a proper pay rise.” 

Amazon UK reported that it paid £10.8m in tax in 2021, despite recording a pre-tax profit of £204m.

Amazon claims it offers “competitive pay” and that only a “tiny proportion” of its UK workforce is involved in the strike with deliveries not being affected.

Today is the first time UK Amazon workers have gone on strike, but there have also been strikes by Amazon workers in the US and Germany.

The strikes by UK Amazon staff are the latest in a winter of discontent which have seen nurses, ambulance staff, Border Force personnel, civil servants, teachers and rail workers all strike or vote to strike in disputes over pay.