Hundreds of Amazon warehouse workers in Tilbury, UK, walked out in protest of an offensively low pay rise offer of 35 penies an hour in the middle of one of the worse inflation crises in decades.
Videos on social media showed workers protesting in the company’s warehouse canteen in Tilbury, Essex, voicing their opposition to the new paltry pay offer from Amazon.
In one video uploaded on Wednesday evening, a manager asks employees to return to their work stations, saying: “Continuing like this all night is not going to change anything.”
Representatives from UNI’s affiliate, the GMB, say workers are seeking a £2 an hour pay rise to cope with the rising cost of living.
“Amazon is one of the most profitable companies on the planet. With household costs spiralling, the least they can do is offer decent pay,” said Steve Garelick, GMB regional organiser.
“Amazon continues to reject working with trade unions to deliver better working conditions and fair pay. Their repeated use of short-term contracts is designed to undermine worker’s rights.
“The image the company likes to project, and the reality for their workers could not be more different. They need to drastically improve pay and working conditions.”
Strikes at Amazon warehouses over pay and benefits aren’t a new phenomenon. In Germany, after years of worker strikes and organizing, Amazon has increased hourly wages. However, because of longer working hours and low-to-no special payments such as Christmas and holiday bonuses, Amazon employees’ incomes often remain several hundred euros less than workers in comparable companies covered by collective agreements.
It is long overdue to give workers appreciation and material security, emphasised ver.di’s Nutzenberger during a Prime Day strike in May: “Only collective agreements protect workers and end Amazon’s arbitrariness!”
ver.di members at Amazon have been on strike many times before over pay and conditions.
UNI coordinates a global alliance of unions representing Amazon workers.
Representing more than 20 million workers in 150 countries, UNI Global Union is driven by the responsibility to ensure skills and service jobs are decent jobs and that workers’ rights are protected, including the right of union representation and collective bargaining.