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Amazon Workers In Coventry Announce Six More Strike Dates
April 1st, 2023 | 09:15 AM | 426 views
Amazon workers in Coventry - the first in the UK to strike - are to take a further six days of industrial action in a continuing dispute over pay.
Strikes by GMB union members will be from 16 to 18 April and 21 to 23 April. It follows action earlier this year.
The GMB has called for a pay rise from £10.50 to £15 an hour, although the union is not recognised by the US firm.
Amazon said its minimum pay had risen by more than 37% since 2018 as well as other benefits.
The firm has previously said only a "tiny proportion" of its workforce in Coventry is involved in the dispute.
The GMB told the BBC it is close to signing up enough workers so that Amazon would have to recognise a union for the first time.
It also said it was asking members at five other Midlands sites to vote on whether they would be willing to take part in industrial action.
Analysis by Zoe Conway, BBC employment correspondent
Could Amazon be about to recognise a UK trade union for the first time?
At the moment, Amazon doesn't recognise the GMB and so won't negotiate with them, but the union hopes that at the Coventry warehouse, that's about to change.
It says it's close to signing up enough members at the site that the company will have to recognise them.
The GMB union estimates there are 1,300 people working at the warehouse and 560 of them are union members.
If the union manages to recruit more than half the workforce it says it will apply to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) for "statutory recognition".
The GMB has been recruiting on average 30 people per day to the union on strike days.
On statutory recognition, the CAC says: ''The basic principle is that recognition is granted if a majority of the workers in the bargaining unit wish it... the CAC may declare the union to be recognised without a ballot if more than 50% of the workers in the bargaining unit are members of the union.''
Voting will take place online to assess the level of support for strike action.
Hundreds of workers at Mansfield in Nottinghamshire; Coalville in Leicestershire; Kegworth in Leicestershire; Rugeley in Staffordshire; and Rugby in Warwickshire will take part in the ballot, the union said.
But industrial action could only take place at these sites if the union then held a further postal vote that resulted in a majority vote in favour of a walkout.
A spokesperson for Amazon said it regularly reviewed pay and announced an increase in wages for British workers in March.
Minimum pay for staff increased by 10% over the past seven months and by more than 37% since 2018, they added.
"We also work hard to provide great benefits, a positive work environment and excellent career opportunities," the spokesperson said.
Ihsan PELITA BRUNEI
by Caroline Gall
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