Amazon announces £170m for frontline wage hikes in the UK

Amazon has said that it plans to spend £170 million on two tranches of pay rises for frontline operations staff in the UK over the next two months.

The company said that minimum starting pay for its workforce of 75,000 in the country would increase by £1 an hour to £11.80-12.50 depending on the location from 15 October.

The next pay rise will come in April 2024, increasing to between £12.30-13.00.

Amazon said that this change will mean that its minimum starting pay will have risen by 20 per cent in two years and 50 per cent since 2018.

The company also has started a recruitment drive for more than 15,000 seasonal roles across the UK for the festive period later this year.

John Boumphrey, Amazon’s UK country manager, said: “We have some of the most talented colleagues around, and we’re proud to offer them competitive wages and benefits, as well as fantastic opportunities for career development, all in a safe and modern work environment.”

The announcement comes after months of worker action from Amazon staff in the country, culminating in a GMB Union-backed strike at two Amazon fulfilment centres in Rugeley and Coventry in August.

The union said that the move would bring "little comfort" to workers and called on the retail and tech behemoth to improve its working conditions and pay. Rachel Fagan, a GMB organiser, said: “Amazon has spent millions fighting their own workers over union rights and fair pay.

“GMB members have forced a pay rise from one of the world’s most powerful corporations – but Amazon can and must do better.”

Another interested party in these wage increases could well be the Bank of England (BoE). The UK’s central bank last month paused a run of interest rate hikes, but said that record growth in workers’ pay is its biggest concern as an inflation pressure.

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