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Amazon staff in Essex protest for second day as dispute over 35p pay rise spreads

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theguardian.com

Amazon workers at Tilbury in Essex have stopped working for the second day in a row as fury over the online retailer’s “insulting” pay rise offer spread to three other UK warehouses.The GMB union said about 50 workers were gathered in the facility’s canteen on Friday in protest at the offer, which is an estimated 3% rise.They said numbers have declined from the 700 protesting on Thursday because the company has been engaging in “divide and conquer” tactics by sending managers to meet and talk with smaller groups of workers.Amazon confirmed these meetings were taking place and said it was in order to ensure that “all workers’ voices can be heard”.It is understood that workers at the facility currently receive £11.10 an hour and are calling for an increase of £2, rather than the 35p that has been offered by the online retailer.Amazon said staff were being offered £10.50 or £11.45 an hour depending on location and has defended its “competitive” pay package.One worker from Tilbury said those in the warehouse had been anxious for some time about their pay because of increasing bills at home and had been expecting a “substantial increase” of at least £1 an hour.“We have been there for them during the pandemic and made sure the country was connected.

Amazon was one of the ways [Covid-19] tests were sent out to people and we have been there and made sure the country was running,” they said.“For all this just getting 35p, it’s an insult.

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