Amazon is bracing for delivery disruption during the crucial golden quarter, with hundreds of staff at its Coventry fulfilment centre preparing to protest tomorrow due to a row over pay and working conditions.


Amazon warehouse staff are requesting a pay rise to £15 an hour 

Employees at the online retailer’s site are currently paid £10.50 per hour but will fight for an hourly rate of £15, according to the union GMB.

Amanda Gearing, GMB senior organiser, told Retail Week that some staff were “having to pull 60-hour weeks to put food on the table”.

“One of the workers we were talking to said he’s frightened to open envelopes that come through his door because of the bills that he can’t pay at the moment, so it’s really quite a dire situation for them,” she said.

“They want £15 an hour; that’s estimated at what they would need to be able to live.”

Staff received a 50p-an-hour pay rise earlier this year – which increased their hourly rate from £10 to £10.50 – but Gearing said employees felt short-changed after “working all through the pandemic” and had “had enough”.

“We are here today to tell Amazon: if you want to keep your empire going, talk to GMB to improve the pay and conditions of workers,” she said.

Local MPs and GMB members are expected to join the protest, which will take place between 5.30pm and 7pm on Friday evening.

An Amazon spokesman denied the allegations and said the protest group represented “a variety of interests”.

“While we are not perfect in any area, if you objectively look at what Amazon is doing on these important matters, you’ll see that we do take our role and our impact very seriously,” he said.

“We are inventing and investing significantly in all these areas, playing a significant role in addressing climate change with the Climate Pledge commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040, continuing to offer competitive wages and great benefits, and inventing new ways to keep our employees safe and healthy in our operations network, to name just a few.

“Anyone can see for themselves by taking a tour at one of our sites.”

Rampant inflation and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis have fundamentally changed the pay landscape for many retailers this year.

Supermarket giants such as Tesco and Morrisons have increased frontline staff pay twice this year, while the likes of Dreams and Dr Martens have recently unveiled one-off cost-of-living payments to support staff. 

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