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Grays campaigners protest Amazon’s price gouging during Covid pandemic

Protestors were also demonstrating against Amazon’s treatment of workers (Credit: Unite)

Campaigners in Grays town centre have protested Amazon’s alleged price gouging during the Covid pandemic. 

Unite claims vulnerable and older people who had to stay at home and rely on deliveries were exposed to inflated prices and wants Amazon to repay the overcharges. 

“For example, Carex antibacterial hand lotion usually costs around £1. In March 2020 the price on Amazon increased to £26.41,” said a spokesperson for Unite. 

“The price of a Braun Thermoscan 7 digital thermometer shot up over £100 – going from £39.99 to £149.99.”

The union claims it has found evidence 50 different items were sold on Amazon for at least double their usual price between March 2020 and November 2020 onwards. 

They include soap, antibacterial spray and wipes, washing up liquid, hand wash, bleach, thermometers, face masks, toilet paper,  disposable gloves, sanitary products, vitamins, toothpaste, sudocream, tea and tinned food.

Unite has submitted the first formal complaint to the Competition and Markets Authority against Amazon. 

It also wants Amazon to sign up to a declaration of neutrality, which includes commitments to recognize workers’ right to unionise. 

Sharon Graham, Unite executive officer for organising and leverage said: “Amazon is steeped in corporate irresponsibility, from its anti-union tactics to tax avoidance.

“Now Amazon stands accused of profiting from price gouging on its website at the height of the pandemic when vulnerable people were most at need. It’s time for Amazon to be held to account.”

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