By by Sophie squire
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Amazon strikes spread to new site

GMB union members in Minworth, Birmingham join the Amazon strike wave
Issue 2890
Busy amazon workers picket line with strikers in orange jackets leafleting cars

Busy Amazon workers picket line in Coventry (Picture: Darren Westwood on Twitter)


Amazon workers in Coventry have voted to strike again a year after they first took to picket lines.  And next time they strike, they might not be alone. 
 
Workers at a newly-opened Amazon fulfilment centre in Minworth near Birmingham walked out on last Thursday.
 
Garfield, an Amazon worker at the Coventry site, told Socialist Worker he travelled to Minworth to offer solidarity to workers taking to picket lines for the first time.
 
“The regime that the bosses have imposed at Minworth is really aggressive,” he said. 
 
“They are surveyed and monitored to a really high level. Workers told me ­managers scrutinise even their toilet breaks. 
 
“Many workers move between Amazon sites, and they say this is the worst one they’ve ever gone to.” 
 
Garfield added that ­workers are angry at conditions, and want to fight back. “Quite a lot of people came out to the picket lines—and 30 joined the union. 
 
“We also did training with workers so they can become reps and start organising.”
 
Garfield explained that in Coventry, workers who struck repeatedly last year want to keep fighting.
 
“In Coventry our fight is about so much more than just pay. We want dignity. We want to be treated like human beings.
 
“There are also not enough toilets at the Coventry site, and they don’t sell Halal food in the canteen. All of these things make workers angry on a day-to-day basis.” 
 
Garfield added that Amazon is trying a new tactic to try and ensure they don’t get half of the workforce to join the GMB union.
 
Hitting this benchmark could force bosses to recognise the union.
 
“They are employing a lot of people at the moment. There are so many of us now that there’s not enough work to do. 
 
“The managers employ people they don’t think will want to fight back, so this time, they are employing a lot of Indian students.
 
“But we’re having ­conversations with them and recruiting them just the same.
 
“Our strikes have to spread,” Garfield explained.
 
“We have to find every ­fulfilment centre where there is dissent and go there and find like-minded people. 
 
“We need to see if they can strike with us.”

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