Amazon to raise workers’ pay

By staff writers
October 2, 2018

Amazon has announced it is to raise the pay of its workers in the UK and US.

The company, which has been attracting criticism for its low pay and poor working conditions for some time, said it would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour in the US for more than 350,000 workers, while around 40,000 staff in Britain will get an increase to £10.50 an hour in London and £9.50 in the rest of the country.

At present, the minimum wage for UK Amazon workers is £8 an hour, They will get a minimum increase in pay of 18 per cent. The rise for London workers will be 28 per cent.

The lowest wage for US workers is currently $11 an hour, which means the minimum rate will rise by 36 per cent.

Frances O’Grady, the TUC General Secretary, commented: “Amazon is a trillion-dollar company. It can easily afford to pay staff higher wages.

“If Amazon is really serious about looking after its workforce it must recognise trade unions. And it must end the exploitative working practices that have seen hundreds of ambulances called to its UK warehouses *.

“All workers deserve decent conditions at work – not surveillance, inhuman targets and the threat of a disciplinary if they to go to the toilet.

“Today’s announcement is the result of campaigning by the GMB and unions around the world. It’s only a start and shouldn’t be spun as a huge act of generosity.”

* Ambulances are reported to have been called out 600 times to the online retailer’s UK warehouses in the past three years. A Freedom of Information request to ambulance services from the GMB union revealed 115 call-outs to Amazon’s site in Rugeley, near Birmingham, including three relating to pregnancy or maternity problems and three for major trauma.

[Ekk/4]

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