Amazon warehouse employees in UK vote to go on strike



CNN
 — 

Amazon warehouse employees at a facility in the UK plan to go on strike, their union confirmed to CNN on Friday, in a transfer that’s being billed as a primary for the corporate’s employees within the nation.

The GMB union, which represents employees in a variety of industries within the UK, stated that a whole lot of Amazon employees at a warehouse in Coventry overwhelmingly voted for the strike, which is anticipated to happen within the new yr.

The labor motion stems from employees’ dissatisfaction over Amazon’s proposed pay raises, in keeping with the union. It additionally comes as hovering inflation within the UK has pressured households to grapple with skyrocketing meals and power prices.

“Amazon workers in Coventry have made history – they will be the first ever in the UK to take part in a formal strike,” Amanda Gearing, GMB senior organizer, stated in a press release to CNN on Friday. “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.”

“Amazon can afford to do better,” Gearing added, noting that it’s “not too late to avoid strike action,” and urged Amazon to come back to the bargaining desk to “improve the pay and conditions of workers.”

In a press release to CNN on Friday, a UK Amazon spokesperson touted the corporate’s pay and advantages. “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.”

“This represents a 29 per cent increase in the minimum hourly wage paid to Amazon employees since 2018,” the assertion added. “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.”

The transfer from Amazon employees within the UK additionally comes as Amazon employees in the US proceed to prepare and push for collective bargaining rights.

Amazon employees at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, made historical past earlier this yr once they voted to kind the first-ever labor union at one of many firm’s US services. Regardless of the landmark victory for the employee group, generally known as the Amazon Labor Union, the corporate has but to formally acknowledge the union or come to the bargaining desk.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy advised in remarks final month that the corporate’s authorized battle with the union is “far from over,” regardless of the Nationwide Labor Relations Board indicating the union is on the cusp of being licensed.

Different current makes an attempt to unionize at Amazon warehouses in the US have come up quick.