Amazon warehouse workers stage Black Friday strikes and protests around the world | Amazon

Amazon warehouse workers in the UK and 40 other countries are to strike and stage protests timed to coincide with Black Friday sales, one of the company’s biggest shopping days of the year.

Workers in dozens of countries, from Japan and Australia to India, the US and across Europe, are demanding better wages and conditions in a campaign called “Make Amazon Pay”.

In the UK, hundreds of members of the GMB union are on strike or protest at a number of Amazon warehouses, including a protest outside its fulfillment center in Coventry.

“We’re here today to tell Amazon [that] if you want to keep your empire going, talk to the GMB to improve pay and conditions for workers,” said Amanda Gearing, a senior organizer at the GMB. “Amazon workers are overworked, underpaid, and they’ve had enough.”

Profits at Amazon Services UK, the group’s warehousing and logistics business, which is believed to employ more than half of the company’s UK workforce of close to 75,000 people, rose 60% to £204m and revenue grew by just over a quarter to more than £6 billion last year.

Workers are demanding a pay rise from £10.50 to £15 an hour as the cost of living crisis hits household budgets.

However, taking part in the UK action could mean protesters miss out on the second part of a £500 bonus Amazon has agreed for tens of thousands of frontline workers.

Last month, Amazon UK said the award of the second part of the payment was dependent on staff not taking “unauthorised absences” between November 22 and Christmas Eve.

The GMB argued that linking the payment to staff participation could be seen as an illegal strike stoppage.

In Dublin, Extinction Rebellion has organized a protest outside Amazon’s offices from

An Amazon spokesperson said: “These groups represent a variety of interests, and while we are not perfect in any area, if you look objectively at what Amazon is doing on these important issues, you will see that we are taking our role and our influence very seriously.”

“We are innovating and investing significantly in all these areas, playing a significant role in tackling climate change with the climate pledge commitment to be net-zero CO2 by 2040, continuing to offer competitive wages and great benefits and inventing new ways to retain our employees .safe and sound in our operational network, to name just a few.”

More than 50 security guards and CCTV operators demonstrate outside Harrods over a
More than 50 security guards and CCTV operators demonstrate outside Harrods over a “pay cut”. Photo: Mark Thomas/i-Images

In London, security guards and CCTV operators at Harrods are also on strike on Black Friday, including staging a protest outside the luxury Knightsbridge store, the first of 12 days of action over the festive period.

More than 50 staff are taking part in the protests, which are due to be held every weekend in December and include Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, over a 7% pay offer they see as a “cut” with inflation of more than 11%.

Last month, Harrods, which is owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, reported an annual profit of 51m. GBP, more than doubling the salary of its CEO to 2.3 million. GBP and revealed that it had raised nearly 6m. arrangement.

“Harrods and its owners can absolutely afford to pay these workers a rise that reflects the skyrocketing cost of living,” said Sharon Graham, the general secretary of the Unite union.

Meanwhile, industry body UKHospitality said a series of planned rail strikes in the run-up to Christmas would cost UK restaurants, pubs, clubs and bars £1.5bn. and called on the government to bring all partners to the table to try to reach a solution.

Mick Lynch, the general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, said the strikes would continue, after an initial meeting with Transport Secretary Mark Harper to try to resolve the dispute on Thursday.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said the disruption and financial cost of the strikes will cause another lost Christmas on the scale of the impact of the Omicron variant of Covid last year.

“This disruption will devastate hospitality businesses during its busiest time of the year and will in turn force the public to cancel and rearrange plans,” she said. “The impact of rail strikes already this year has been devastating and far-reaching, but this will pale in comparison to what we will see as a result of the upcoming strikes in December.”

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