Strikers to hold rally at Amazon Coventry warehouse

A mass rally is being planned outside Amazon’s Coventry distribution centre later today as a week-long strike at the warehouse reaches its halfway point.

In the first-ever strike action Amazon has faced in the UK, more than 500 GMB Union members are not working between 13 and 17 March after the tech giant offered them a 50 pence per hour pay rise.

Today’s rally, which is expected to be attended by hundreds of the affected employees, will reportedly feature music, big screens, and speakers including GMB general secretary Gary Smith.

According to GMB, the union representing the UK workers, Amazon UK Services paid only £10.8 million in tax in 2021, despite recording pre-tax profits of £204 million. GMB Union estimates that the strike will cost Amazon around £2 million.

"It’s sickening that Amazon workers in Coventry will earn just eight pence above the National Minimum Wage in April 2023,” said Amanda Gearing, GMB senior organiser. “Amazon bosses can stop this industrial action by doing the right thing and negotiating a proper pay rise with workers.”

The strike follows a series of protests over pay and working conditions which took place last year on Black Friday. Workers across 40 countries– including employees at the Coventry warehouse–reportedly took part in strikes or protests to coincide with the shopping phenomenon.

Retail Systems has reached out to Amazon for comment.

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