Hundreds of Amazon workers run out of tools in Essex warehouse for ‘pathetic’ 35p an hour pay rise

Stock: A worker in an Amazon warehouse (PA Archive)

Hundreds of Amazon workers have stopped working at one of its biggest UK warehouses in Essex over pay.

The GMB union said workers at the Tilbury depot had only been offered what it said was a ‘pathetic’ pay rise of 35p an hour, far below the £2 raise wanted by the union.

Inflation is currently expected to peak at 13% this year, representing a significant reduction in wages in real terms for most.

GMB said around 700 of the site’s roughly 3,500 employees took part in a protest against the pay deal, with workers downing tools on Wednesday and Thursday.

Steve Garelick, a regional organizer, said: “Amazon is one of the most profitable businesses on the planet. With household costs soaring, the least they can do is offer a living wage.

“Amazon continues to refuse to work with unions to provide better working conditions and fair compensation. Their repeated use of short-term contracts aims to undermine workers’ rights.

“The image the company likes to project and the reality for its workers couldn’t be more different. They must significantly improve wages and working conditions.

Footage posted to social media by those who took action showed employees sitting in the on-site cafeteria and refusing to work.

A warehouse worker posted a video in which he accused Amazon of treating them “like slaves”.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “Starting pay for Amazon employees will increase to a minimum of between £10.50 and £11.45 per hour, depending on location.

“This is for all full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary positions in the UK.

“In addition to this competitive salary, employees receive a comprehensive benefits package including private medical insurance, life insurance, income protection, subsidized meals and an employee discount, among others, which, combined, are worth thousands of dollars a year, plus a company pension plan.”

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