Amazon plans a pay cut of up to 23% for hourly workers who guide trucks in and out of its UK delivery stations

Amazon workers stand in front of a large 'Amazon Prime' branded truck trailer.
Amazon’s yard marshals in the UK are facing a big pay cut. Ronny Hartmann/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Amazon is set to cut pay for some UK yard marshals, the people who guide vehicles in and out of Amazon facilities.
  • Insider spoke to four yard marshals who said they were facing hourly pay cuts of up to 23%.
  • Amazon said the marshals had a “number of options,” including taking supervisor jobs.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Amazon is set to slash pay by as much as 23% for some of its UK yard marshals, the people who manage the hundreds of trucks and drivers that arrive at Amazon delivery stations and warehouses every day.

Insider spoke to four yard marshals in three UK locations who face the pay cut. Three of them requested anonymity, fearing reprisal from Amazon.

Two of the marshals said they were told in July that their hourly wage would drop from £13 ($US17.80 ($AU24)) to £10 ($US13.70 ($AU19)) per hour, starting in October – a 23% cut. A third worker also said their hourly wage would fall by £3 ($US4.11 ($AU6)).

Owen Williams, a night-shift yard marshal at Amazon’s delivery station near Bristol, UK, told Insider he had worked for Amazon since 2019. He said his colleagues told him in August that his pay would soon be slashed from £15.45 ($US21.15 ($AU29)) an hour to £12.40 ($US16.98 ($AU23)) an hour – a cut of nearly 20%.

Williams told Insider that a manager didn’t confirm the cut until he demanded a one-to-one meeting.

One of the marshals Insider spoke to said their current pay was just enough to pay for food, car insurance, and their phone bill. “I’m looking to save to get a mortgage and I’m getting married as well. So that has to be put off for this.”

An Amazon spokesman said the company was discussing the proposed pay cut with yard marshals at delivery stations, where items are loaded up and shipped out on last-mile delivery.

Marshals at fulfilment centres, which are Amazon warehouses, or sorting centers, where Amazon orders are sorted by destination and loaded onto trucks, were already paid less and would not be affected by the proposed pay cut, he said.

He said Amazon permanently employed more than 200 yard (182.88m) marshals at UK delivery stations. He did not say how many temporary yard marshals worked for the company. Two of the people Insider spoke to were temporary agency workers.

The proposed cut would align the UK with the company’s pay structure in the rest of Europe, where yard marshals make the same as warehouse workers, he said. All affected marshals were being offered a “number of options,” including supervisor jobs at their current pay rate or alternative roles, he said.

Amazon’s spokesman said temporary workers had the option to apply for permanent roles, too. “The options available to them also include the new supervisory role, Yard Marshalls in the revised role, or an alternative role within Amazon, at sites where vacancies exist,” he said.

The yard marshals Insider spoke to said Amazon wasn’t offering enough supervisor roles to go around.

Williams, who was made a permanent employee in February 2021, told Insider that out of more than ten marshals at his facility, only two supervisor roles were on offer. Anther yard marshal in a separate location said that out of ten yard marshals, three were offered the supervisor role.

Williams added that the supervisor roles on offer at his facility were only for day shifts, and would pay less than his current night-shift role.

Amazon’s spokesman said that although Williams was a permanent employee, his yard marshal role was a rolling “step-up” contract that ended on October 3. Williams told Insider his contract lasted three months at a time, and that he’d been a yard marshal on this contract since May 2019.

“I used to love the place, and now I hate it,” he said.

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