Workers at Amazon UK are planning to stage their first ever strike in January this year. Amazon’s UK workers belonging to GMB trade union are all set to walk out on January 25 over pay disputes. Moreover, the aggrieved workers belong to Amazon’s warehouse in central England. On the other hand, Amazon has come up with the stance that it is offering competitive pay to its workers and the strike will not affect customer services.
GMB union workers voted in favor of strike
There is a dispute among Amazon’s UK workers which is centered around pay structure. The GMB trade union is seeking wage of £15 an hour for its members. Previously, the GMC unions managed to secure support for industrial action in a ballot conducted on December 16, 2022. Significantly, the union secured 98% votes of those backing the strike in a 63% turnout. Hence, this will be the first time when Amazon’s workers in UK have voted for strike. Although less than 300 put of 1,400 Coventry plant’s workers participated in the balloting. Yet, GMB union is terming this as a hailing victory.
“GMB urges Amazon UK bosses to give workers a proper pay rise and avoid industrial action altogether. They’ve shown they’re willing to put themselves on the line to fighting for what’s right. But people working for one of the most valuable companies in the world shouldn’t have to threaten strike action just to win a wage they can live on.” GMB union’s senior organizer Amanda Gearing said in a statement.
Amazon’s stance on strike action
On the other hand, Amazon has stated that they are offering competitive wages to its workers. Moreover, the ecommerce giant is claiming that the strike will have zero impact on customers and operations will continue as normal. “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. Employees are also offered comprehensive benefits that are worth thousands more-including private medical insurance, life assurance, subsidized meals and an employee discount, to name a few.” An Amazon’s spokesperson said in an official statement.
The strike vote gained significance as it came at a time of a major industrial unrest within UK. Significantly, thousands of rail workers, royal mail workers and some National Highways staff are already posing strikes. Moreover, a large number of unions across public and private sectors are demanding pay raises in wake of soaring inflation.
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