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Amazon workers stage Black Friday pay protest

BBC News logo BBC News 11/25/2022
GMB senior organiser Amanda Gearing said it was "disgraceful" that Amazon was not paying more © BBC GMB senior organiser Amanda Gearing said it was "disgraceful" that Amazon was not paying more

Dozens of Amazon workers have joined a protest outside the company's Coventry warehouse on Black Friday.

GMB union members have been asking for improved pay and conditions, calling an offer of a pay rise starting at 50p per hour insulting.

They want their hourly pay to rise from £10 an hour to £15.

Amazon has refused to recognise trade unions and said workers' pay had risen by 29% since 2018. It also said staff would get a Christmas bonus of £500.

The demonstration is being held outside an Amazon warehouse which stores items and then supplies them to the company's fulfilment centres.

Dozens of workers turned out for the demonstration at the Coventry warehouse © BBC Dozens of workers turned out for the demonstration at the Coventry warehouse

Amanda Gearing, GMB senior organiser, said it was "disgraceful that they're not supporting Amazon workers through this time" and accused the company of treating workers like "robots".

She said she wanted to see safety improvements within the factory and warned there could be walkouts if the matter was not resolved, despite the lack of formal union recognition.

In August, the GMB said about 100 workers took part in a sit-in protest at the canteen of the warehouse at the Lyon's Park centre, Coventry, over a pay increase offer of 35p per hour.

Amazon said it offered "competitive pay" and gave workers "comprehensive benefits" including private medical insurance, life assurance, subsidised meals and an employee discount.

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