Amazon workers ready for ‘David and Goliath battle’ against employer over poor pay conditions

Amazon staff have mentioned that they’re prepared for a “David and Goliath battle” as they start their second spherical of strikes this yr over poor pay and dealing circumstances.

Greater than 350 staff at Amazon’s Coventry warehouse will stroll out at the moment in anger at a pay rise of fifty pence.

Workers on the warehouse have mentioned they need a wage of £15 an hour, after the rise noticed their pay improve to £10.50 an hour – simply £1.50 above the nationwide minimal wage of £9.50.

“Right here in Coventry Amazon staff are once more standing on the picket line after one of many world’s most worthwhile corporations has denied them a wage they will dwell off,” Stuart Richards, senior organiser at GMB union, mentioned.

The employees initially started strike motion in January, making historical past as the primary UK department of Amazon workers to revolt over circumstances.

Amazon staff may also stroll out on Thursday 2 March and for 5 consecutive days from 13-17 March.

Richards continued: “It’s a David and Goliath battle and our members are decided to verify it ends with a pay rise they deserve.

“Morale is sky excessive and the assist from native individuals in Coventry and Amazon staff around the globe has been extraordinary. That is simply the beginning of GMB members escalating their marketing campaign for honest pay at Amazon.”

Amazon staff on the Coventry warehouse have additionally spoken up in regards to the poor working circumstances they’ve skilled. Workers have beforehand alleged to the BBC that employees are consistently monitored, with timed rest room breaks and reprimands for simply minutes of “idle time”.

“Amazon doesn’t recognise the commerce union concerned (GMB) so it is a very troublesome place to handle for them”, Jo Mackie, head of employment regulation at Lawrence Stephens, informed Enterprise Issues.

She continued: “If Amazon is timing rest room breaks, that’s each belittling and degrading to their workers, and Amazon could be smart to cease this workhouse observe to stop additional motion being taken towards them.”

When approached for touch upon the economic motion, an Amazon spokesperson mentioned solely a “tiny proportion” of its workforce was concerned and defended its pay supply as “aggressive”.

“A tiny proportion of our workforce is concerned. In truth, in line with the verified figures, solely a fraction of 1 per cent of our UK workers voted within the poll – and that features those that voted towards industrial motion,” the spokesperson mentioned.

“We admire the nice work our groups do all year long and we’re proud to supply aggressive pay which begins at a minimal of between £10.50 and £11.45 per hour, relying on location. This represents a 29 per cent improve within the minimal hourly wage paid to Amazon workers since 2018. Workers are additionally supplied complete advantages which can be value 1000’s extra – together with non-public medical insurance coverage, life assurance, subsidised meals and an worker low cost, to call a number of.”

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