Solidarity with Amazon UK Warehouse workers – and ice cream!

Over the past ten days, Amazon workers around the UK have held sit-ins and walk-outs after being offered a measly pay rise of as little as 35p per hour. 

This is way less than the rate of inflation, which is currently at 10.1%, a 40-year high. That means Amazon, one of the richest corporations in the world, is trying to inflict a real-terms pay cut on its workers right in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis. 

This latest slap in the face for Amazon’s UK warehouse staff comes on top of longstanding concerns about the firm’s employment practices. Foxglove, in collaboration with workers’ rights network Organise, has already heard from UK warehouse workers about gruelling conditions, unrealistic targets, and constant workplace surveillance.

Amazon also stands accused of exploitative practices around the world. See for example this New York Times report, or this article in Vice, for more on their track record of union-busting.

Foxglove stands in solidarity with Amazon workers pushing for better pay and conditions. Since the sit-ins started we’ve been helping them get the word out about their struggles (see for example this great write-up in Sunday’s Observer newspaper). We’re doing this work alongside leading unions like GMB – because workers are stronger when they stand together.

Last weekend was a scorcher, so we also paid for an ice cream van to pitch up at Amazon’s warehouse in Tilbury, Essex, and offer free ice creams to all the workers. We wanted to let them know we’re standing with them, and help keep spirits up – and bodies cool! – in the middle of a heatwave. Check out our Tom, ready to hand out cones to passing staff:

For the workers, this is a fight for a live-able wage in the teeth of sheer corporate greed. With Amazon’s current pay offer, workers could be on as little as £10.50 an hour – and they’re worried that’s going to leave them cold or hungry this winter.

For Foxglove, supporting Amazon workers is part of our broader fight for a future where technology benefits everyone, not just the rich and powerful. Giant tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, Uber, Deliveroo all hide a harsh reality for workers behind a shiny screen interface. 

Foxglove aims to support frontline tech workers – including Amazon warehouse and delivery workers, and Facebook content moderators – to win fair treatment. Ultimately, these workers need a union, and we’re no replacement for one. But we do think our special style of campaigning and litigation complements the organising work of unions.

In the UK, Amazon relies on around 33,000 warehouse and delivery workers – Foxglove will do all we can to support their fight for better treatment.

If you work at Amazon and want to talk to us in confidence, please get in touch. We’re with you, and we’re just getting started.