Getting rich on other people’s sweated labour

With the news that the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is now the world’s richest person: Thanks to Thanksgiving shoppers, Jeff Bezos is now the world’s only living $100-billion man – we think it’s time to reflect on how he acquired that wealth – off the sweated labour of those who work in places such as the recently opened Amazon facility at Tilbury.

Are Amazon digging a hole for themselves at Tilbury?
Dark, Satanic warehouses…


Leaflet for Amazon workers – December 2017

This is the text of a leaflet aimed at Amazon workers in Hertfordshire and West London so not all of what’s written will be applicable for the situation at the Amazon facility in Tilbury. However, it’s a sign that workers who’ve had enough of their treatment by Amazon are starting to organise and fightback. This is something we hope will happen at Tilbury as well. We’re seriously thinking about producing a flyer aimed at Amazon workers in Tilbury for early next year…

Angry Workers of the World

original-4501-1402615262-11Amazon workers in Hemel Hempstead and Amazon Flex workers in West London: Let‘s learn from the struggles of our colleagues in Italy, Germany and Poland!

Click here for PDF version: AmazonBW

It‘s peak season and work sucks the life out of us. The media presents us as victims, losing the competition with Amazon‘s robots. That sucks too. We can show them that we are no victims.

In Hemel Hempstead we have many problems:

* The picking target of 120 is too high, and it‘s raining verbal and written warnings. Management makes temp workers hit higher targets for the season, and then makes the regulars reach those targets throughout the whole year. ‘Power Hour’?! – No, thanks!

* PMP and Adecco pay low. They advertise £10 an hour, but you have to kill yourself with overtime to get it. Some guys work 60 hours plus. The more hours we work per…

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Stirrer No.4 off to the printer

The fourth print edition of The South Essex Stirrer has just been sent to our friends at Oxford GreenPrint ready and waiting for them when they get back from their festive break. We’re aiming for this to be hitting the streets by the middle of January.

As mentioned previously, we’re changing the distribution model with the emphasis switching to high street / town square hand outs of the paper and away from door-to-door deliveries. The reason for this is that as we can only afford a small print run, we want the papers to get into the hands of people who actually want to read them. We’re planning to do this in Southend, Basildon and possibly Romford. If any of our supporters want to come out and join us in any of these locations on a Saturday, feel free to get in contact and we’ll let you know when we’re out. For obvious security reasons, we don’t want to be publicly advertising distribution dates on here.

If any of our supporters want to take a bundle of Stirrers to hand out to friends, neighbours and colleagues, feel free to get in touch and we’ll sort out a way of getting them to you. Also, if any of you run or now of a venue that is sympathetic to our politics and would be willing to take a bundle for their patrons, let us know and we’ll take it from there.

When there are events, actions and protests out here in Essex, we’ll be along with bundles of the Stirrers to hand out. However, there is a proviso… If a protest out here in Essex is about a specific issue, while we’ll be attending and supporting it, out of respect for the aims of the protest and the organisers, we won’t be distributing the Stirrers until the end when people are leaving. There are two reasons for this a) we’re serious about alliance building and networking and we won’t make headway with this if we blatantly ponce off other groups events and b) we want to put clear blue water between us and those political elements who attend protests with the sole aim of handing out /flogging their papers.

Lastly, as a festive treat, we’re making a downloadable PDF of the Stirrer available for you here:

And the plonkers of the year award goes to…

It only takes two massive errors of judgement and a council can find itself in pole position for our ‘plonkers of the year’ award. Here are the two errors that got Southend Borough council our award…

Firstly, the ‘standards’ committee at the council caving into seven Tory councillors plus one Independent – all landlords – who said they should be allowed to vote on whether privately rented properties should be subject to a compulsory licensing scheme. It raises the question of just what is the point of the ‘standards’ committee if they are going to crumble at the first bit of pressure from greedy, self interested councillors…

Southend…the rotten borough

Secondly, the council employing yet another architect in a bid to resurrect the vanity project that is the museum on the cliff tops opposite Prittlewell Square. Rather than admit that the initial plans for the scheme were fatally flawed, they would rather pour more money into it than ever have to admit they were wrong. A little word of advice…when you’re in a deep hole, drop the shovel!

Wasting millions again

The state (and future) of Brooke House

Above is an exterior shot of the iconic Brooke House tower block situated in East Square which is right in the heart of Basildon town centre. East Square is going to be comprehensively redeveloped. Over the years, there have been various proposals from Basildon Council for the ‘re-generation’ of Brooke House – pretty much all of which involve the removal of current tenants and residents and handing it over to a developer. Looking at the exterior shot of Brooke House, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s an okay place to live. Enter the block and as you can see from the photographs below, it’s a completely different story. If the state of the public areas inside the block isn’t managed decline by the council designed to ‘persuade’ current tenants and residents to move out, we don’t know what is. With the recent founding of Brooke House Residents Basildon we suspect that any future plans for ‘re-generation’ a.k.a. social cleansing will be getting met with some stiff resistance…

No To £400 Million Local Health Cuts – Save Our NHS

This is from the Defend Our NHS – Chelmsford, Mid-Essex Facebook page – The proposals from the ‘Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’ affect Southend, Basildon and Broomfield – this Facebook page is part of a coordinated response to what is essentially a programme of cuts.

Saturday, 17th February, 12noon – 2pm | Outside Waterstones, 78 High Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1EJ | Facebook event page:

The bottom line is these proposed STP (now renamed the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, though Slash, Trash, and Privatise is perhaps more appropriate?) changes are not clinically driven. These proposed changes are being driven by huge government cuts.

Basildon has not been able to deal with demand in recent years as it is, so how will it cope as the specialist emergency centre for mid and south Essex? Their A&E has regularly been on black alert. Does it really have the capability for all this extra demand? It will be overwhelmed.

Furthermore, with public transport links so poor between Chelmsford and Basildon, there will be those who find it very difficult to impossible to visit relatives and friends in Basildon. And such support networks are vital to patients in recovery.

We are also worried about how the victory we gained in the summer will be maintained. By losing many of the services currently being offered at Broomfield to Basildon, Broomfield will inevitably also lose medical staff to Basildon. Without these medical staff, can Broomfield continue to offer a full A&E service? It looks like it will be a downgrade of blue light emergency services by stealth.

Please join us in the High Street (by Lloyds/Waterstones) to say no to NHS cuts and privatisation.

Spread the word:)

Following on from the previous post about a number of Southend Borough councillors bending the rules to suit their material interests as landlords, we’ve swiftly knocked up this graphic as an aid in drawing attention to their shenanigans. Feel free to share, print off and use in any way you see fit…just don’t get caught!

HI-res JPG: