A UK trade union has said walkouts over pay at Amazon’s warehouse in Coventry will continue, even after the tech giant announced today it would increase wages by at least £1 an hour.
The GMB union, which has been spearheading Amazon strikes, told City A.M. today it would “absolutely not” end strikes in Coventry over poor pay and conditions.
This is despite Amazon revealing it would spend £170m over the next half a year on pay rises for front-line warehouse staff.
The minimum wage for Amazon’s 75,000 UK employees will rise by £1 or more to between £11.80 and £12.50 an hour, starting on 15 October. Next April, Amazon will up its rates again to between £12.30 and £13 an hour.
The e-commerce company, which reported $134.4bn (£110.5bn) in sales in its most recent quarter, said this means minimum starting pay will have risen by 20 per cent in two years and 50 per cent since 2018.
But Rachel Fagan, a GMB organiser, said this news would “bring little comfort to the thousands of Amazon workers facing poverty pay, unsafe working conditions and workplace surveillance”.
Members of the GMB who work for Amazon headed to the picket lines for the first time ever in the UK last January, and have marched out on strike almost every month since.
Fagan added: “Amazon has spent millions fighting their own workers over union rights and fair pay.
“GMB members have forced a pay rise from one of the world’s most powerful corporations — but Amazon can and must do better.”
The Amazon UK country manager, John Boumphrey, said: “We have some of the most talented colleagues around, and we’re proud to offer them competitive wages and benefits, as well as fantastic opportunities for career development, all in a safe and modern work environment.”