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‘History’ made as Coventry workers strike against Amazon

On 25 January, Amazon workers in Coventry commenced the first-ever UK walkout of the company.

This follows an earlier decision by GMB union members to vote on taking industrial action against the global tech company.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, the warehouse at Coventry saw full capacity and large profits for the company.

Earlier in 2022, Amazon had decided to review their pay promises for workers. Due to the record-breaking profits achieved by Amazon during the pandemic, many workers expected a £2 per hour pay rise, from £10 per hour to £12.

The mood was very hopeful, GMB reckons it’s the start of many [strikes] in the UK and the world

– GMB Source

When Amazon instead offered them a £0.50 per hour pay rise, the Coventry warehouses decided to take industrial action.

Contrary to Amazon’s claims that all operations would continue as normal, GMB Organiser Amanda Gearing stated that the action has “made an impact”. On Twitter, she wrote: “Today, history was made”, in response to the strikes.

The Coventry strike against Amazon has become the first in the United Kingdom and may inspire future rounds of strikes.

“The mood was very hopeful, GMB reckons it’s the start of many [strikes] in the UK and the world … there were workers from other locations asking to be put in contact with their local GMB branches”, an anonymous source told The Boar.

“There was lots of solidarity too … there were students as well as older workers, union members, etc.”

A spokesperson for Amazon told CNBC that the strikes represented “only 1% of our UK employees”, that pay for workers had increased by 29% since 2018, and that employees had received a one-time £500 payment to help with the cost-of-living crisis.


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