Workers at Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Coventry warehouse in central England walked out on Wednesday over pay issues, marking the first time the U.S. e-commerce giant’s operations in Britain have faced strike action.
Around 300 employees are likely to take part in the 24-hour strike action, as per the trade union GMB, which represents the workers involved.
Workers are said to be unhappy with a pay increase of 50 pence per hour, which they argue is well below inflation. Amazon (AMZN) raised starting pay by 50 pence to a minimum of between £10.50 and £11.45 last year, but workers are seeking a minimum pay of £15 an hour to match the rising cost of living.
Additionally, they demand better working conditions, raising concerns over working hours, high injury rates, and the unrelenting pace of work.
In a statement to CNBC, a company spokesperson told that the staff involved represent “only a fraction of 1% of our UK employees,” adding that pay for Amazon’s U.K. warehouse workers has increased 29% since 2018.
AMZN shares were down around 2% during Wednesday premarket session
Last week, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued hazard letters after it found ergonomic dangers at three Amazon (AMZN) warehouse facilities in Deltona, Florida; Waukegan, Illinois; and New Windsor, New York.