More than 1,000 Amazon UK workers to go on Black Friday strike

Amazon workers from the GMB union, talk to a lorry driver passing a picket line outside the Amazon fulfilment centre in Coventry, central England
Amazon workers are striking over pay in a long-running dispute which has resulted in multiple walk-outs so far this year. Photo: Darren Staples/AFP via Getty (DARREN STAPLES via Getty Images)

More than 1,000 workers at Amazon’s (AMZN) largest UK warehouse have started a series of strikes this Tuesday that is set to disrupt Black Friday on 24 November.

Members of the GMB union at Amazon’s Coventry site are striking for three days between Tuesday 21 November and Thursday 23 November. A fourth day of walkouts has been called for Black Friday, the union said.

Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, is expected to be hit by strike action internationally, with Amazon workers set to take industrial action in Europe and the USA.

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Workers are striking over pay in a long-running dispute which has resulted in multiple walk-outs so far this year.

Rachel Fagan, GMB organiser, said: “The action will hit some of Amazon’s busiest days in the lead-up to Black Friday and will bring total days lost to industrial action to nearly 30.

“This is an unprecedented and historic moment with low-paid workers taking on one of the world’s most powerful corporations. This is our members’ response to the failure of Amazon bosses to listen.”

GMB criticised the retail giant’s pay offer of just £1, after Amazon spent millions fighting their own workers over union rights at the company. Workers are calling for an hourly pay rise from £11 to £15.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “We offer competitive pay, comprehensive benefits, opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern, work environment.”

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The company added that its minimum starting pay is between £11.80 and £12.50 an hour depending on location for all full-time, part-time and seasonal roles and from April 2024, minimum starting pay will increase to between £12.30 and £13 per hour, depending on location.

“Coventry is the beating heart of Amazon’s distribution network; strike action this week and on Black Friday will ripple throughout the company’s UK logistics,” Fagan said.

“As Black Friday looms, Amazon must urgently reconsider their priorities or risk strike action causing widespread disruption to customers and the public.”

Watch:Amazon strike: First formal walkout on British soil

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