The Rebellion Amazon Can No Longer Ignore – WIRED Amazon Deals of the day | Discount | Coupon Codes

The Rebellion Amazon Can No Longer Ignore – WIRED

Last time Amazon employee Darren Westwood was on strike, Amazon didn’t exist. He was working as a train guard and it was the 1980s—the only other time in recent British history when inflation surged past 9 percent.  

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, he’s on the picket line again outside Amazon’s giant Coventry warehouse, where he gets paid £10.46 ($12.90) per hour to work alongside a fleet of robots. Westwood, a member of the UK’s GMB Union, is here to campaign for higher pay. “When we started this protest, I think inflation was at 6 percent. Now we’re at 10.5 percent and people can’t cope,” he says. “It just doesn’t feel fair. We’re doing 40 hours a week, stood up for 10 hours a day. And I’m still struggling to pay my bills.” 

Westwood is among a group of Amazon day shift employees, union representatives and TV cameras, waiting in nervous silence to see if workers on the night shift will be bold enough to walk away from their workstations. A few minutes after midnight, four figures emerge from the mist and the crowd waiting for them erupts into cheers and applause. Others follow, walking in small groups. These are the first Amazon workers to officially go on strike in the UK. Among them is Mal (who declines to give his surname). “We are trying to fight for a pay rise,” he says. Thaddeus, who has worked at Amazon for three years, agrees. 

“Hopefully this strike will have a domino effect,” says Westwood, who is hoping other warehouses will follow Coventry’s example. The Coventry strike is expected to last for 24 hours, but organizers could announce further dates. 

Getting to this point has been a slog: Employees in the UK can’t just walk off the job—first a union has to mail ballots to workers’ homes then persuade a majority to return them, voting in favor of a strike. 

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January 25, 2023 at 02:59AM

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