Hundreds of Amazon workers down tools at Essex warehouse over ‘pathetic’ 35p an hour pay rise

·2-min read
Stock: A worker in an Amazon warehouse (PA Archive)
Stock: A worker in an Amazon warehouse (PA Archive)

Hundreds of Amazon employees have stopped work at one of its biggest UK warehouses in Essex over pay.

The GMB union said workers at the Tilbury depot had only been offered what it called a “pathetic” pay rise of 35p an hour, much lower than the £2ph increase sought by the union.

Inflation is currently predicted to hit a peak of 13% this year, representing a significant pay cut in real terms for most.

GMB said around 700 of some 3,500 employees at the site have taken part in a protest against the pay deal, with workers downing tools on Wednesday and Thursday.

Steve Garelick, a regional organiser, said: “Amazon is one of the most profitable companies on the planet. With household costs spiralling, the least they can do is offer decent pay.

“Amazon continues to reject working with trade unions to deliver better working conditions and fair pay. Their repeated use of short-term contracts is designed to undermine worker’s rights.

“The image the company likes to project, and the reality for their workers could not be more different. They need to drastically improve pay and working conditions.”

Footage posted on social media by those taking the action showed employees sitting in the on-site cafeteria and refusing to work.

One warehouse worker posted a video in which they accused Amazon of treating them “like slaves”.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “Starting pay for Amazon employees will be increasing to a minimum of between £10.50 and £11.45 per hour, depending on location.

“This is for all full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary roles in the UK.

“In addition to this competitive pay, employees are offered a comprehensive benefits package that includes private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection, subsidised meals and an employee discount among others, which combined are worth thousands annually, as well as a company pension plan."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting