As their billionaire boss Jeff Bezos, 58, roams London, Amazon employees walk away with their hundreds of more than 35p pay raises an hour
- More than 700 workers in Tilbury, Essex, quit work over wage dispute
- The strike was fueled by the news staff being paid only 35p more per hour
- Footage of staff sitting in the cafeteria refusing to work went viral in Essex
Amazon workers in the UK have walked out in protest at the pay as their billionaire boss walks around London with his girlfriend.
More than 700 employees in Tilbury, Essex, have stopped working after revelations that their starting hourly rate would increase by a whopping 35p from £11.10 to £11.45.
Workers in Coventry, Bristol and Rugeley, Staffordshire have also protested for higher pay. But the biggest incident took place in Essex, where images of staff sitting in the cafeteria refusing to work went viral on social media.
A Tilbury worker said warehouse workers had been concerned about their wages for some time because of rising bills at home and expecting a ‘substantial increase’ of at least £1 an hour.
“We’ve been there for them during the pandemic and made sure the country was connected. Amazon was one of the ways Covid tests were sent to people and we’ve been there and made sure the country was up and running,” he said.
The news came when Amazon boss Jeff Bezos (right), who is worth around £137 billion, was spotted restaurant-hopping through London as part of a luxury trip with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez (left)
Amazon workers across the country have stopped working over a wage dispute. Footage of staff sitting in a cafeteria refusing to work in Essex went viral
“To get only 35 pence for all this is an insult. It’s about 3 percent compared to skyrocketing inflation and it’s almost like getting a pay cut. I get stressed and anxious just thinking about the high energy bill and that 35p won’t cover anything.’
It came when Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, who is worth around £137 billion, spotted a restaurant hopping in London as part of a luxury trip with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.
Bezos, 58, was spotted earlier this week with Miss Sanchez, 52, at the trendy Ham Yard Hotel in Soho during a break with a private tour of Buckingham Palace and dinner at The Twenty Two restaurant, where Tom Cruise also dined. The pair is also pictured strolling through Mayfair with Mr Bezos in white jeans worth £600, while Miss Sanchez was carrying a pink Hermes Birkin crocodile costing around £87,000.
Union bosses have called on Amazon workers to get a £2 an hour increase as rising inflation and pressure on the cost of living continue to bite. The US tech and retail giant saw its UK turnover rise to £23 billion last year.
GMB regional organizer Steve Garelick said: ‘Amazon is one of the most profitable companies in the world. With household costs rising, the least they can do is provide a decent wage.
Amazon continues to work with unions to achieve better working conditions and fair wages.
Their repeated use of short-term contracts is intended to undermine workers’ rights.
‘The image that the company likes to convey, and the reality for their employees, cannot be different.’
Earlier this year, staff across the Atlantic voted to form a union and force the company to improve its standards on pay and breaks. But Amazon doesn’t recognize unions in its UK warehouses.
A spokesperson said: ‘The starting wage for Amazon employees will be increased to a minimum of £10.50 to £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 pay, employees are offered a comprehensive package of benefits, including private health insurance, life insurance, income protection, subsidized meals and an employee discount, which together are worth thousands of dollars a year, as well as a company pension plan.”