On Monday, a group of almost 500 Amazon employees in the UK shut down their activities for five days in protest of their wages and working conditions, which they have deemed abusive. The move has put the online retail giant under increased pressure from its employees, who have long complained about the lack of adequate pay, excessive hours, and a hostile work environment.
The strike, which began on Monday, is the largest collective action taken by Amazon employees in the UK so far. It follows similar protests in Germany and Italy, where workers have also been calling for better wages and improved working conditions.
The workers demand that Amazon raise their hourly rate from 10.5 pounds (11.8 euros) to 15 pounds (17 euros), and that the company recognize their right to collective bargaining and union representation.
The UK protesters are demanding Amazon end its “unfair” wages and working conditions, including “excessive hours,” “lack of respect,” and “unjustified surveillance.” They are also calling for better pay, improved holidays and maternity policies, and improved safety protocols.
The protesters have also highlighted the company’s refusal to recognize unions, as well as its reliance on temporary workers. Amazon has denied any mistreatment of its employees, but the protests show that the company’s stance is increasingly being challenged by its own workforce.
The protests in the UK are likely to add to the pressure on Amazon to address its workers’ concerns, as well as to rethink its business model. The company has thus far resisted calls for change, but with its workers now taking to the streets, it may finally be forced to listen.