More than 700 warehouse workers at an Amazon warehouse in England walked out this week in a dispute over a pay increase, reported Reuters. Amazon did not agree to the hourly rate increase of £2 (or $2.44) requested by the trade union representing the employees, instead offering a raise of 34 pence. GMB, the trade union representing the employees at the Tillbury facility (a suburb of Essex in Eastern England), said workers walked out on both Wednesday and Thursday.
“Amazon is one of the most profitable companies on the planet,” Steve Garelick, a regional organizer for GMB, told ABC. “With household costs spiraling, the least they can do is offer decent pay.”
Garelick posted video footage of the protesting Tillbury workers, who began their walkout shortly after Amazon delivered the news that it would not meet the union’s demands. Management reportedly “withdrew catering” at the facility, and told workers that they would be terminated if they left the premises.
GMB began campaigning for higher pay and better health standards for Amazon warehouse workers in the UK in 2013, even calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the company’s labor practices. Amazon doesn’t recognize the GMB union at Tillbury or any of its other warehouses across the UK.
Dozens of Amazon workers at another UK warehouse — in Rugeley — also walked out yesterday due to a payment dispute. “Amazon Rugeley announced a 50p wage increase citing the local/Rugeley pay rate average. The news didn’t sit well with the associates and more than 100 people walked out in the canteen as a protest, which affected a lot of customer shipments,” an anonymous worker told The Birmingham Mail.