According to UK trade union the GMB, hundreds of Amazon workers at a Coventry warehouse in the UK have begun voting in a formal strike ballot on whether to walk out in anger.
The workers are contesting the company’s £0.35 (US$0.40) per hour pay offer. The ballot closes on October 19, with any industrial action likely to take place in November. This is part of the protests staged by Amazon workers across the UK at the company’s 3% pay offer. The union has pointed out the company’s recent profits to contextualize this anger. In September 2021, Amazon reported paying £492m (US$558m) in tax the previous year after its UK revenue soared to £20.6bn (US$23.3bn) during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Amanda Gearing, a senior organizer at the GMB, said, “These Amazon workers will be the first ever in the UK to take part in a formal strike ballot – they’re making history. They’re being offered £0.35 [US$0.40] an hour during the worst cost of living crisis in a generation – and that’s from a company worth more than £1tn [US$1.1tn]. Understandably, they are furious. Amazon can afford to do better. It’s not too late to avoid strike action; get round the table with GMB to improve the pay and conditions of workers.”