Amazon Coventry workers begin two more strike days - The Coventry Observer

Amazon Coventry workers begin two more strike days

Coventry Editorial 24th May, 2023   0

THE GMB union has accused Amazon’s top brass of ‘desperate Jekyll and Hyde tactics’ as its workers at Coventry’s fulfilment centre walk out again this week.

Around 700 workers walked out today and will take further action on Friday (May 26) due to a dispute over pay, taking the total number of days on the picket line to 16.

This comes as Coventry Amazon workers await the outcome of a union recognition bid, which was submitted to the Government’s Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) earlier this month.

GMB claimed the CAC, the Government body responsible for regulating collective bargaining between workers and employers, has stepped in after a ten-day opportunity for Amazon to resolve recognition voluntarily ended.

The union said its thought the number of GMB members now at the Coventry fulfilment centre has seen them pass the legal threshold for mandatory recognition – 51 per cent of the workforce.

It was also claimed warehouse workers have reported bosses threatening to add up to 1,000 new staff in a bid to ‘escape obligations’ to recognise the union.

The union’s senior organiser Amanda Gearing said: “Our members won’t accept a pay rise of pennies from one of the world’s wealthiest corporations.

“The mood amongst GMB members on the picket line is sky-high.

“They’ve had huge support from local people here in Coventry and from fellow Amazon workers around the globe.

“One day Amazon bosses are promising vouchers and competitions to win over staff, the next they’re setting up barriers around their fulfilment centres to keep staff union representatives away.

“Our members won’t be convinced by anything less that £15 and for Amazon to talk pay with their union”.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “Amazon respects our employees’ rights to join, or not to join, a union.

“We offer competitive pay, comprehensive benefits, and opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern, work environment.

“At Amazon, these benefits and opportunities come with the job, as does the ability to communicate directly with the leadership of the company.”

The spokesperson added the minimum starting pay for Amazon employees will be between £11 and £12 per hour, depending on the location.

The current national living wage in the UK is £10.42 per hour, while the real living wage outside London is £10.90 an hour.


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