Amazon faces GMB Union Demo and ASBOs
Amazon is due to be hit by demonstrations outside 9 of their biggest UK facilities tomorrow by the GMB, who apparently are upset at Amazon paying a penny above the minimum wage. The GMB are also planning to hand out fake Anti-Social Behaviour Orders to Amazon managers due to the company supposedly not paying enough tax in the UK
The thing is both of these accusations are a bit pointless. On the tax side, whilst Amazon undoubtedly pay as little tax as they can get away with, it’s the government who need to change the law. Until such time Amazon have a responsibility to their share holders to be as profitable as possible and that doesn’t include over-paying tax. Even if they wanted to it’s very unlikely the warehouse manager in say Doncaster, is in a position to influence Amazon’s tax affairs.
Probably the majority of Tamebay readers are either Amazon third party sellers, third party software suppliers, or are Amazon retail customers. If you don’t want your prices to go up then you probably don’t want Amazon to pay more tax than they have to.
Regarding the hourly rate Amazon supposedly pay their workers, these are casual workers and whilst many would probably love to work for Amazon, the reality is that they work for employment agencies and it’s they that are responsible for wages. Doubtless to get the contracts the agencies bid as little as possible which is why wages will be low, but the agencies will be taking their cut off the top. The GMB want a “living wage” of £7.45 per hour, whilst workers are currently paid £6.20, a penny above the minimum wage (set by the government).
There are often stories in the press about working conditions at Amazon, staff are expected to walk anything up to 15 miles per shift. They’re also expected to work to a certain rate, their performance is measured and it’s hard graft. It’s an honest day’s work though and probably no harder than being a Royal Mail delivery worker. If the alternative is unemployment and possibly being forced to work for a company for free, I know which I’d choose.