Amazon strike latest as furious Swindon workers stage sit-in canteen protest

·2-min read
Hundreds of Amazon staff stage a sit-in protest in the new depot's canteen.
Hundreds of Amazon staff stage a sit-in protest in the new depot's canteen.

HUNDREDS of striking Amazon warehouse workers are furious after being told by their boss that they will not get the hoped-for pay rise.

More than 200 staff have downed tools to take part in a sit-in protest at the new Symmetry Park depot's canteen since Monday night because they feel that a proposed 35p-per-hour pay rise would not be enough to cope with their increased workload and rising costs of living.

The GMB union has submitted a formal pay claim asking for a real terms pay rise of £2 per hour - but on Wednesday morning, the facility's general manager told striking staff they would not receive it.

One employee who wished to remain anonymous said: "The management has announced they won't approve the pay rise or change their decision, and says they can't help us.

"Amazon is a very profitable company and we deserve fair pay. Just 35p is next to nothing in a situation like this. That works out to £700 a year, which will cover maybe two months of energy bills.

"It's worrying me because mortgage rates have gone up, as has the price of fuel, groceries and energy. We have families - how will we pay the bills?

"No-one is happy with this, no-one wants to go back to work. We will keep this up until the management are more positive and we get a good result."

Staff claim the promises made when they joined the new depot have not been met.

His colleague told the Adver: "We’ve been told there isn’t going to be a pay rise. They are treating us like animals and like robots.

"Bills are getting higher so we want something to change. We work really hard and they do good business through us, and if we go on strike they will get hit.

"We want respect from them. We will stay on strike until we get what we deserve and they come talk to us."

An Amazon spokesman said: "Starting pay for Amazon employees will be increasing to a minimum of between £10.50 and £11.45p/h, depending on location.

"This represents a 29 per cent increase in the minimum hourly wage paid to Amazon associates since 2018.

"On top of this, employees are offered a comprehensive benefits package that includes private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection, subsidised meals, an employee discount and more, which combined are worth thousands of pounds annually, as well as a company pension plan."

Swindon Advertiser: GMB union representatives near the Amazon warehouse
Swindon Advertiser: GMB union representatives near the Amazon warehouse

GMB union representatives near the Amazon warehouse