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Amazon Workers Strike at UK Warehouse Over 50p-Per-Hour Pay Offer

© AP Photo / Steven SenneAn Amazon logo appears on an Amazon delivery van, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Boston.
An Amazon logo appears on an Amazon delivery van, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Boston.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.01.2023
Staff at Amazon's Coventry warehouse complained of being treated worse than robots — while the wage rise offered by the world's richest firm would only take their hourly pay to eight pence above the legal national minimum.
Around 300 workers at a British Amazon site have gone on strike after rejecting a "derisory" 50p-per-hour offer.
Staff at the warehouse in Coventry in the West Midlands walked out just after midnight on Wednesday in what is reportedly the first ever strike at the global online retail giant's UK operations.
Trade union GMB, which organises workers at the site, said 98 per cent of its members there voted for strike action after management offered them a five per cent rise from £10 per hour to £10.50.
The strikers are demanding £15 per hour, with Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation rate running at over 15 per cent in December compared to prices a year earlier.
The UK's statutory National Living Wage — the minimum hourly rate for staff aged 23 or older — is currently £9.50 and set to rise to £10.42 in April — meaning Amazon staff are effectively being offered an eight pence rise.
Workers at the Coventry site complained that the company treats them harshly, with managers even recording how long they take for toilet breaks.
The Amazon logo in Santa Monica, California - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.01.2023
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Amazon UK's profits reportedly more tripled in the first few months of 2021, thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown that saw traditional high-street retailers forced to shut their doors. That was after its US parent more than doubled its profits in the 2020 for the same reason.
The Europe-wide cost-of-living crisis — fuelled by sanctions and embargoes on energy, food and other imports from Russia over its de-Nazification operation in Ukraine — has prompted waves of strikes and protests as pay offers fail to keep up and governments impose new austerity measures.
British rail, postal and dock workers began walkouts in the summer, since followed by nurses, ambulance staff and teachers.
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