Amazon workers stage their first-ever strike in the UK!

Coventry, UK - Amazon workers are staging their first ever strike in the UK in a dispute over pay!

Members of the GMB union at an Amazon fulfillment center in Coventry, UK, voted to walk out on Wednesday for the first time ever.
Members of the GMB union at an Amazon fulfillment center in Coventry, UK, voted to walk out on Wednesday for the first time ever.  © REUTERS

Members of the GMB union at the company's fulfillment center in Coventry voted to walk out on Wednesday in protest against a pay rise the union said is worth 50p ($0.6) an hour.

Stuart Richards, GMB senior organizer, said: "Today, Amazon workers in Coventry will make history."

"They've defied the odds to become the first ever Amazon workers in the UK to go on strike."

California's landmark fast food workers law hits a new obstacle
Labor Unions California's landmark fast food workers law hits a new obstacle

"They're taking on one of the world's biggest companies to fight for a decent standard of living."

"They should be rightly proud of themselves."

"After six months of ignoring all requests to listen to workers' concerns, GMB urges Amazon UK bosses to do the right thing and give workers a proper pay rise."

An Amazon spokesperson said: "A tiny proportion of our workforce are involved."

"In fact, according to the verified figures, only a fraction of 1% of our UK employees voted in the ballot – and that includes those who voted against industrial action."

Amazon workers in Coventry just "trying to get decent pay"

Amazon workers are protesting against a pay rise the union said amounts to just $0.6 an hour.
Amazon workers are protesting against a pay rise the union said amounts to just $0.6 an hour.  © REUTERS

Out on the picket lines on Wednesday, Amanda Gearing, also a GMB senior organizer, said: "We’re here today because Amazon workers have said they’ve had enough."

She insisted staff who worked through tough conditions during the pandemic are just "trying to get decent pay."

"They [the centers] are pressure-cooker environments they work in, with the targets they’re expected to reach," she added.

Ukraine war: Zelensky makes stance on Russia negotiations clear as Kyiv hit with drone attack
Ukraine conflict Ukraine war: Zelensky makes stance on Russia negotiations clear as Kyiv hit with drone attack

"They [Amazon] just wear them out, get rid of them, replace them."

Abysmal conditions and low pay are not exactly new complaints for Amazon, who has been facing pressure from increasingly organized workers in the US.

That's not to say the retail giant hasn't fought tooth-and-nail to stop employees from trying to improve their lot by unionizing.

One of these battle, at least, has been won by the Amazon Labor Union, which was officially certified by the National Labor Relations Board on January 11.

Cover photo: REUTERS

More on Labor Unions: