Monday 2 December 2019 3:17 pm

Unions protest outside Amazon's London HQ on Cyber Monday

Union members demonstrated outside Amazon’s London headquarters this morning and accused the e-commerce giant of failing to pay the correct amount of corporation tax. 

The GMB union estimated that the retailer should have paid £103m in corporation tax last year, but claims the company’s biggest UK arm paid £14m of tax on £2.3bn worth of sales.

Read more: Black Friday backlash: Workers strike at UK and German Amazon warehouses

Amazon said the figures were “completely incorrect” and said the company pays all taxes owed. 

Speakers at the protest outside Amazon’s Shoreditch office on Cyber Monday – one of the busiest days of the year for the retailer – included GMB general secretary Tim Roache and TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady.

GMB national officer Mick Rix said: “Amazon’s tax loopholes and massive subsidies means our public services get a rough deal.

“Cash that could be used for thousands of carers, nurses or teaching assistants is being poured into Jeff Bezos’s coffers.”

Today’s protest follows several demonstrations at Amazon warehouses across the country on Black Friday calling for better working conditions. 

Rix added “We’re telling Amazon that it’s time to get round the table with GMB, discuss ways to make their workplaces safer and to be a good neighbour and pay their taxes.

“My phone is on. They can call anytime.”

In response to the demonstrations Amazon said: “These calculations are completely incorrect. 

“Among other things, they assume uniformity of profits across geographies, which isn’t the case.

Read more: Inside Amazon’s Black Friday operations hub: The machine behind the retailer’s busiest day of the year

“Our international consumer business is still investing heavily and is loss-making, as can be seen in our annual report. 

“In the UK, we’ve invested £18bn since 2010 and we employ 29,500 people. We pay all taxes owed and our total tax contribution in the UK in 2018 was £793m – £220m in direct taxes and £573m in indirect taxes.”

Main image credit: Getty