Amazon workers blocking the street in Berlin on Black Friday


Striking Amazon workers outside a distribution facility in Leipzig

Our previous post: Dark, Satanic warehouses…https://southessexstirrer.wordpress.com/2017/11/27/dark-satanic-warehouses/ looked at the appalling working conditions staff at the Amazon distribution facility in Tilbury have to endure. The question is, do they have to suffer these conditions or can they fight back? On Black Friday, in Germany and Italy, workers at Amazon distribution facilities took strike action against the company as part of their fight for better pay and conditions: Amazon German, Italian workers protest on Black Friday, dubbed ‘Strike Friday’https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/24/amazon-german-italian-workers-protest-on-black-friday-dubbed-strike-friday/

Unlike the UK, it would seem that the unions in continental Europe still have a reasonable understanding of what their function is, namely fighting for the interests of their workers. The problem about the mainstream unions here in the UK is that they don’t want to rock the boat as it would disrupt their project of helping Jeremy Corbyn become the prime minister. It has to be pointed out to them that in fighting for the rights of workers, disruption is necessary to get the point home to employers. Here’s a small resource list of activists and so called fringe unions who are prepared to rock the boat…

Make Amazon Pay (Facebook)https://www.facebook.com/makeamazonpay/
Industrial Workers of the Worldhttps://iww.org.uk/
Independent Workers Union of Great Britainhttps://iwgb.org.uk/

As we’re mainly housing and community activists, we don’t have the contacts in places such as the Amazon warehouse at Tilbury that we’d like. If you’re working at Amazon in Tilbury – or any of the other massive warehouses in the region – feel free to contact us (anonymously if you want) to discuss where this could be taken. If anyone from Make Amazon Pay, the IWW or the IWGB wants to come down to Tilbury to start organising, even though our resources are stretched, we’ll do what we can to help and offer solidarity.

Lastly, if you’re thinking about doing your online shopping with Amazon – remember, clicks have consequences, one of which is perpetuating a brutal culture of exploitation…