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Struggle—and union—grow in Amazon strike

Strikers are convincing people to not go into work and instead join the GMB union
Issue 2851
Picket line at Amazon in Coventry

Strikers convincing workers not to cross the picket line at Amazon in Coventry

Striking Amazon workers in Coventry showed how to picket effectively as they struck for three days on Sunday last week and Monday and Tuesday this week over pay. They turned away some of those who might have gone into work and recruited people to the GMB union.

Workers at the city’s BHX4 fulfilment centre plan more strikes on Friday to Sunday this week, which means they will have taken 14 days official action. This follows unofficial strikes at Amazon last year. On Sunday and Monday groups of around 30 workers took turns picketing as around 70 other strikers cheered them on. Later on Monday, hundreds of workers marched through the streets by the fulfilment centre. 

Striker Dave told Socialist Worker there were “roughly 100 people at the main entrance”.  He added, “The strike has certainly slowed production right down, and there haven’t been as many deliveries as usual.” 

Another striker Mahfuza told Socialist Worker she didn’t join the union initially because bosses told workers they would be sacked for striking. She joined after her colleagues convinced her this wouldn’t happen. On Monday she convinced a colleague to turn around and join the GMB. 

The GMB says it now has over 600 members at the warehouse. In August last year there were only around 30 members. Struggle builds unions.

GMB members are planning strike ballots in Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, Coalville and Kegworth in Leicestershire, Rugeley in Staffordshire and Rugby in Warwickshire. Dave had a message for the workers at these Amazon sites—“You should join the union and get fighting for what you are actually worth.”

  • Thanks to Richard Milner for ­additional reporting. Some ­workers’ names have been changed

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