The GMB union has insisted Amazon bosses must help staff make ends meet after workers staged their first ever UK strike yesterday (25 January).
Hundreds of employees at the online giant’s Coventry warehouse walked out over the company’s 50p per hour pay rise offer, which equates to 5%.
A GMB spokesperson told Benefits Expert: “In the Coventry and Warwickshire area, Amazon pays less than distribution workers get in most warehouses, including Asda, Lidl, Primark and others.
“The cost-of-living crisis hits hard, and Amazon workers deserve better than £10.50 an hour.”
However, Amazon, which has 75,000 employees in the UK, believes its offer is fair, adding that the employee benefits offered to staff are worth thousands.
A spokesperson for the company said: “We appreciate the great work our teams do throughout the year and we’re proud to offer competitive pay which starts at a minimum of between £10.50 and £11.45 per hour, depending on location. This represents a 29% increase in the minimum hourly wage paid to Amazon employees since 2018.
“Employees are also offered comprehensive benefits that are worth thousands more – including private medical insurance, life assurance, subsidised meals and an employee discount, to name a few.”
Although a majority of 98% of workers voted in favour of a strike during an industrial action ballot, Amazon says only “a tiny proportion” of its workforce were involved in the strikes.
Its spokesperson added: “According to the verified figures, only a fraction of 1% of our UK employees voted in the ballot – and that includes those who voted against industrial action.”