The company said it's offering “competitive pay” starting at 10.50 to 11.45 pounds an hour, depending on location. Amazon says that is a 29% increase in the minimum hourly wage for employees since 2018.
Business at Seattle-based Amazon boomed during the pandemic but, like other tech companies, it has been reversing recent expansions as it faces economic uncertainty. This month, it announced 18,000 layoffs.
Amazon staff are the latest group of British workers to join the picket lines as high food and energy prices drive the highest inflation in decades. Nurses, ambulance workers, train drivers, border staff, driving instructors, bus drivers, teachers and postal workers have all walked off their jobs in recent months to demand higher pay amid the cost-of-living crisis.
Amazon routinely faces protests and walkouts from workers who want higher wages and better working conditions, including elsewhere in Europe, such as Spain and Germany.
Last year on Black Friday, a coalition of unions and advocacy groups coordinated walkouts in more than 30 countries under a campaign called “Make Amazon Pay.” Organizers said they wanted the company to boost pay for hourly workers, extend sick leave and end its effort to fend off unionization, among other things.
In October, the company suspended dozens of workers at a New York warehouse after many of them staged a protest and refused to return to their shifts following a trash compactor fire.
AP Business Writer Haleluya Hadero in New York contributed to this report.