Amazon workers vote to strike at a UK depot for the first time | Business News

Amazon workers at a UK depot have voted to strike for the first time.

Employees at the warehouse in Coventry will walk out in the new year over what the GMB union said was a pay offer increase of 50p an hour.

It comes after more than 98% of workers voted to strike on a turnout of more than 63%, adding to the number of British employees walking out this winter.

Union boss blasts ‘completely inadequate’ pay offer – latest strikes updates

GMB senior organiser Amanda Gearing said the workers had “made history”, as they would become the first UK Amazon warehouse staff ever to take part in a formal strike.

“The fact that they are being forced to go on strike to win a decent rate of pay from one of the world’s most valuable companies should be a badge of shame for Amazon,” she added.

“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.”

The vote was announced on another day of strikes disruption across the UK, with railway staff walking out again, alongside bus and highways workers.

It comes after striking nurses took part in the first NHS-wide walkout on Thursday.

Read more:
All you need to know about the UK’s winter of strikes

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An Amazon spokesperson insisted the company offered “competitive pay”.

“We appreciate the great work our teams do throughout the year, and we’re proud to offer competitive pay which starts at a minimum of between £10.50 and £11.45 per hour, depending on location,” they said.

“This represents a 29% increase in the minimum hourly wage paid to Amazon employees since 2018.

“Employees are also offered comprehensive benefits that are worth thousands more-including private medical insurance, life assurance, subsidised meals and an employee discount, to name a few.

“On top of this, we’re pleased to have announced that full-time, part-time and seasonal frontline employees will receive an additional one-time special payment of up to £500 as an extra thank you.”

Amazon is one of the most valuable companies in the world, with a market cap of $880bn (£723.1bn).

But like many big tech firms, it has announced plans to lay off thousands of employees amid lacklustre growth forecasts across much of the industry.

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