Financial News

  • 12 June 2014, 7:38

Amazon Hit By Living Wage Protest On Website

Amazon has taken down a page on its own website created by campaigners demanding a living wage for the company's UK staff.

The online retailer, which has faced protests and even strikes among its fulfilment centre workers globally in the past, acted within hours of the rogue post appearing on its UK marketplace.

The stunt took the form of a fake book titled 'A Living Wage For All Amazon Workers' which was priced at £7.65 - the hourly rate seen by the protestors as a living wage outside London.

The product description read: "Over 62,000 people have called on Amazon to end poverty pay in 2014 - but Amazon has yet to take our demand seriously so we've brought it direct to Amazon.co.uk."

It added it was time for the organisation "to pay the human cost of its operations".

A group calling itself Amazon Anonymous was responsible for the stunt.

Its petition page slams the company on not only pay but also working conditions and includes claims that Amazon sack staff who take three sickness breaks in a three-month period and that overtime is compulsory.

The change.org petition states: "With UK sales in 2012 of £4.2bn, you'd think Amazon could afford to pay its workers enough to be able to feed and clothe themselves and their families."

The company was yet to respond to a request for a statement from Sky News.

In April, Amazon raised eyebrows when it offered to pay US fulfilment staff - those who find, pack and ship customer orders from huge warehouses - up to $5,000 to quit their jobs if they were unhappy.

The 'pay to quit' policy was seen as an attempt to drive out people seen as damaging morale but Amazon's chief executive Jeff Bezos insisted it made staff stop and think about their careers and where they wanted to be.

In the UK, Amazon has previously faced union-led protests over pay and working conditions and insisted it offered competitive packages to workers.

It has also faced pressure on its tax arrangements, paying £10m in corporation tax in its last financial year on revenues of £4.3bn.

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