shutterstock_1799224330 (1)

Around 1,000 warehouse staff at Amazon’s facility at Tilbury in Essex staged sit down protests on Wednesday and Thursday this week after rejecting a 35p an hour pay rise.

The workers are demanding the online giant increase their pay by £2 an hour, to help them cope with the rapid rise in the cost of living, according to the union GMB.

Steve Garelick, GMB regional organiser, shared videos on Twitter of angry workers jeering a manager who was urging them to return to work.

He said: "Amazon is one of the most profitable companies on the planet. With household costs spiralling, the least they can do is offer decent pay.

"Amazon continues to reject working with trade unions to deliver better working conditions and fair pay. Their repeated use of short-term contracts is designed to undermine worker's rights.

"The image the company likes to project, and the reality for their workers could not be more different. They need to drastically improve pay and working conditions."

Read more

Marius Brezeanu, 24, of Reading, took part in a sit-in protest at the warehouse, where he is a packer.

He said: “I've got to work six days in order to pay my rent, bills and live a normal life; I don't think this should be normal," he told the BBC.

"For a couple of months, I have been eating just one meal a day [to save money]. I think there were around 1,000 people on the day and night shifts striking yesterday and overnight. We will continue [to protest], everyone is still motivated to do it."

Amazon said its pay was "competitive" and staff were also offered a benefits package worth thousands annually.

The retailer said starting pay was increasing to a minimum of between £10.50 and £11.45 an hour, depending on location.

In a statement the company said: “This is for all full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary roles in the UK.

It added: “In addition to this competitive pay, employees are offered a comprehensive benefits package that includes private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection, subsidised meals and an employee discount among others, which combined are worth thousands annually, as well as a company pension plan."