Amazon Black Friday strike: Workers in Coventry to walk out as part of international action against retailer | Business News
Amazon workers in the UK are to go on strike today to coincide with Black Friday – one of the company’s busiest shopping days of the year.
More than 1,000 staff at the firm’s warehouse in Coventry are expected to take part in the walkout, the GMB union said, amid a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.
The online retail giant has insisted customers will not be affected by the industrial action.
A protest will also be held outside Amazon UK’s head office in London, while coordinated strikes and demonstrations will be held in other European countries and the US as well.
Unions say it will be the biggest day of industrial action in Amazon’s history.
The company recently announced it would be increasing the minimum starting pay to up to £13 an hour for staff, depending on location, from next April.
But the GMB has called for a rate of at least £15 an hour, and better conditions, as staff struggle with the cost of living crisis.
GMB official Amanda Gearing, said: “Today will go down as a turning point in Amazon’s history. Working people who make Amazon’s business model possible stand up to demand their share of the company’s enormous wealth.
“Despite that, Amazon bosses are desperate to claim it will be business as usual for Amazon and their customers this Black Friday.”
Ms Gearing added: “The truth is that today will see the largest day of industrial disruption in Amazon’s history.
“With industrial action escalating and workers joining strike action in Europe and the USA, it’s clear this strike is inspiring Amazon workers worldwide to fight to force the company to change its ways.”
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An Amazon spokesperson said: “There will be no disruption to customers.
“We regularly review our pay to ensure we offer competitive wages and benefits.
“By April 2024, our minimum starting pay will have increased to £12.30 and £13 per hour depending on location, that’s a 20% increase over two years and 50% since 2018.”
They added: “We also work hard to provide great benefits, a positive work environment and excellent career opportunities.
“These are just some of the reasons people want to come and work at Amazon, whether it’s their first job, a seasonal role or an opportunity for them to advance their career.”
It marks the 28th day of strike action to hit Amazon in the UK since the start of the year.