AMAZON workers at a Coventry warehouse became the first in the UK to take part in a formal strike ballot against the ecommerce titan.
Hundreds of workers began voting this morning on whether to walk out over Amazon’s 35 pence per hour pay offer, with union GMB lobbying for a £2 per hour increase as the cost-of-living crisis continues to batter Brits.
The vote could mean 300 members of staff refuse to work, causing severe disruption for distribution at that centre.
Informal protests have taken place over the last couple of months, including a two-night strike of warehouse workers in Tilbury, Essex last month.
Amanda Gearing, GMB Senior Organiser, said yesterday’s voters were “making history”.
“Amazon can afford to do better. It’s not too late to avoid strike action; get round the table with GMB to improve the pay and conditions of workers.”
Last September, Amazon reported paying £492m in tax the previous year – despite UK revenue soaring to £20.6bn during the pandemic.
An Amazon spokesperson told City A.M.:“Starting pay for Amazon employees has increased to a minimum of between £10.50 and £11.45 per hour, depending on location. This represents a 29 percent increase in the minimum hourly wage paid to Amazon associates since 2018”.
They added that employees were also offered a comprehensive benefits package, including a pension plan.
The ballot closes on 19 October, with any industrial action likely to take place in November: impacting the all-important Black Friday and Christmas push.