Amazon Offers Term Time-Only Working Amidst Strikes

Image credit: Amazon

Amazon offers term time-only working for warehouse staff with children as it faces union recognition bid and ongoing strike action in Coventry

Amazon has offered a term time-only contract for parents and grandparents working in its UK warehouses, amidst ongoing strike actions over pay at its Coventry facility.

The company said people with children would be able to take six weeks of holiday in summer and two weeks at Easter and Christmas.

They would retain full-time benefits, Amazon said.

Regional operations director Neil Travis said the company told the BBC he hoped the offer would encourage more people to re-enter the workforce.

Image credit: Amazon
Image credit: Amazon

‘Listening to our employees’

“We spent a lot of time listening to our employees and one of the things that we were learning is that they really wanted more flexible opportunities,” he said.

Staff at the US e-commerce giant’s Coventry warehouse have been on strike for 16 days this year, including two days last week.

Meanwhile the GMB union is petitioning to the government’s Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) to become the first union in the UK to be officially recognised by Amazon.

It says 800 staff at the Coventry site are members and that this represents more than half of the workers at the warehouse, the usual threshold for mandatory union recognition.

Union recognition bid

The company said it is working with the CAC as part of the GMB’s formal application process.

It says it does not believe union recognition is appropriate and that it prefers to engage directly with staff.

“We offer competitive pay, comprehensive benefits, opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern work environment,” the company said in a statement.

“At Amazon, these benefits and opportunities come with the job, as does the ability to communicate directly with the leadership of the company.”

‘Pay rise of pennies’

The company has made a number of offers to staff since strikes began in the UK in January, including an offer to increase the minimum starting salary of its UK workforce by 50p to between £11 and £12 per hour.

Unionised staff are asking for £15 per hour.

GMB senior organiser Amanda Gearing said members would not accept “a pay rise of pennies from one of the world wealthiest corporations”.

“Our members won’t be convinced by anything less than £15 and for Amazon to talk pay with their union,” she said.