Employees at two Amazon depots in the Midlands have announced the scheduling of new strike dates to commemorate one year of ongoing industrial action.

The GMB union revealed that over 1,100 union members at warehouses in Rugeley, Staffordshire, and Coventry are expected to participate in the walkouts next month.

The primary demand of the workers is for an hourly pay increase from £11 to £15, in contrast to Amazon’s offer of a 50p per hour raise for Coventry staff. The retail giant, however, stated that it regularly reviews its pay rates and ensures competitive wages for its workforce.

On August 3 and 4, union members in Rugeley will stage their strike, while the Coventry fulfilment centre will witness industrial action on August 4 and 5. With these upcoming strikes, the total days lost to industrial action at Amazon this year will reach 26, as reported by the union.

The strike dates mark an anniversary for Amazon

These strike dates hold significant importance as they mark the anniversary of a previous protest by hundreds of Amazon workers at a warehouse in Tilbury, southeast England, who walked out in response to issues regarding pay.

Amazon clarified that the minimum starting pay for its employees ranges between £11 and £12 per hour, depending on their location, and highlighted that they had increased the minimum pay by 10 percent in less than a year and by more than 37 percent since 2018. The company also emphasised its efforts to provide attractive benefits, a positive work environment, and promising career opportunities.

Rachel Fagan, GMB senior organiser, expressed the collective discontent of the workers, stating, “One year ago, Amazon workers downed tools in disgust after managers announced one of the world’s wealthiest companies would be offering a pay rise of just 35p. Twelve months on and Amazon is now facing the biggest week of industrial action in the company’s history – across two sites.”

As the strike action unfolds, both Amazon and the GMB union remain firm in their respective positions, and the impact of the strikes on the company’s operations and worker’s demands remains to be seen.

 

 

 

 

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.