UK Amazon workers strike over 50p pay rise saying ‘robots are treated better’

Hundreds of Amazon workers are on strike today (January 25) in Coventry, after 98% of union members voted to walk out over a 50p per hour pay offer.

An estimated 300 staff are taking strike action at Amazon's warehouse in Coventry, complaining that it is not enough to pay the bills or justify what they call 'severe' working conditions.

One worker who has spent three and a half years at Amazon's Coventry site added that the latest pay rise was not enough to combat price increases.

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Darren Westwood told Reuters: "None of us want to strike. We'd all rather be in the warmth inside than be drinking tea out here in the cold, but it's come to that point now where the cost of living has just gone crazy."

Darren and his colleague Garfield Hilton told the BBC that the robots in the warehouse 'are treated better than us' and that they're even quizzed by managers for going to the toilet.

Darren added: "They don't understand this is the UK – we can organise a union, we can protest, we can withdraw our labour.

"[Our workers] need someone. I know it's going to be a long slog, but these people need someone who's not frightened. And I'm not frightened."

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The GMB Union claims around 300 workers are walking out, while Amazon claims it is just 170. According to the union, further strike dates will be announced in the coming weeks.

Stuart Richards of GMB told Reuters: "These workers are having to work incredibly long shifts, just to try and make ends meet, just to try and feed their families. We've got to be better than that."

A spokesperson for Amazon said the company provides competitive pay and benefits, and argued: "Having a direct relationship with the company is best for our employees.

"Our employees have the choice of whether or not to join a union. They always have."

GMB Union is a trade union designed for all workers across different sectors, including retail, schools, the NHS, and more.


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