Express & Star

Amazon strikes spread to new warehouse just weeks after it opened

A small group of workers at Amazon’s giant new fulfilment centre have voted to join industrial action over pay levels just weeks after opening.

The new Amazon Fulfilment Centre near Sutton Coldfield

The GMB union has announced that its members at the centre in Minworth, near Sutton Coldfield, have voted to join strike action.

In total 19 of its 34-strong membership – 55.8 per cent –voted for industrial action at the fulfilment centre in Minworth, which opened its doors in October.

More than 1,000 Amazon workers across the UK downed tools last week as part of GMB Union’s Black Friday industrial action at the retail giant.

Strike dates will be announced in the coming weeks.

Amazon has issued a response saying: “Out of more than 2,000 employees at our Sutton Coldfield fulfilment centre, 19 of 34 GMB Union members have voted in favour of industrial action. We regularly review our pay to ensure we offer competitive wages and benefits. By April 2024, our minimum starting pay will have increased to £12.30 and £13 per hour depending on location, that’s a 20 per cent increase over two years and 50% since 2018.

"We also work hard to provide great benefits, a positive work environment and excellent career opportunities. These are just some of the reasons people want to come and work at Amazon, whether it’s their first job, a seasonal role or an opportunity for them to advance their career.”

Amanda Gearing, GMB organiser, said: “Company bosses are hoping they can bury their head in the sand; but the truth is industrial relations at Amazon UK is in chaos.

“Amazon Minworth opened its doors just weeks ago and workers have already voted to join strike action.

“Our members feel betrayed by a company that is letting low pay and unsafe working conditions become the new normal.

“After Black Friday strikes last week, we’re seeing industrial action snowballing and Amazon is surely set to face a winter of strike chaos.”