Nationalise now, but not to bail out the system

Posted on: August 14th, 2022 by Sophie No Comments
nationalisation re-nationalisation

Gordon Brown has ruffles feathers after speaking about the possibility “last resort re-nationalisation”

The depth of the cost of living crisis is such that ideas only months ago were dismissed as “too radical” are suddenly back in fashion. The nationalisation of the energy companies is one of them.In Jeremy Corbyn’s time as leader, right wing Labour MPs dismissed their own party’s policy on the question as a throwback to the 1970s and unfit for the modern age.

A “properly regulated” free market was the only efficient way to supply households with electricity and gas, they insisted.But the sheer scale of household energy price rises has forced some to think again. Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown this week decided to join in.

He said that the government should regulate the energy firms more tightly.And, “if this fails, as a last resort, operate their essential services from the public sector until the crisis is over.”Though he doesn’t use the word, Brown is saying that some energy firms should be re-nationalised. Brown’s apparent U-turn comes not because the arch centrist has discovered socialism.

We should remember that he was Tony Blair’s “Iron Chancellor” and presided over colossal privatisation projects, including in the NHS and on the London Underground. The conversion comes because there are times when vital industries are so threatened and the risk of popular rebellion so high that even sections of the ruling class can favour state ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange.

That, after all, is how gas and electricity utilities—and many other industries first came into the public sector in 1948. In the wake of the Second World War British industry was battered, desperate and on its knees.

Only the government had the degree of centralised planning and resources necessary to rebuild it. The capitalist class were, in most cases, prepared to allow nationalisation of these assets because they believed it would help bring stability to the economy.

They saw that the cost of the modernisation of industry would be borne by the public. This form of nationalisation also encouraged a sense that “we’re all in it together”. Both the government and the bosses hoped it would mitigate against the deep pool of class bitterness that followed the war.

It is in this same spirit of “national unity” that Brown has offered his policy of a last resort re nationalisation of the energy industry. He hopes that capitalism today can be stabilised using a series of emergency measures that interfere with the market, but only temporarily.

It’s what Brown did as prime minister during the 2008 banking crisis to bail out the system. He interfered with private banks to save their system. They were part-nationalised and then handed back later.

Whatever the limitations in his plan now, Brown has certainly ruffled the feathers of Labour’s most right wing figures. Having fought off the challenge of Corbyn, they see the re-emergence of his policies as a grave danger. However, there are ways to favour nationalisation that are far better than Brown’s.

When the demand for state ownership comes as part of a mass movement or from workers in the industry, it can be part of a more radical vision of how society might be run. Fundamental to this is demanding the end of the rule of the free market.

Taking the energy industry under temporary government control until the current storm of high prices passes is a long way from a plan to wrestle control  of society from the rich. Far better than a windfall tax, we could seize the entire assets of firms such as Shell and BP and invest them in a low cost, fossil fuel-free future.

We could democratically decide ways in which to cut energy usage, and how to prioritise ecologically sustainable power generation. And, rather than overpaid bosses, workers in the new nationalised industry would run the firms themselves but be accountable to wider society.

This vision of nationalisation has nothing to do with those that want to stabilise capitalism. Instead, it aims to destroy and replace the system with something far better.

Wildcat strikes—purrfect way to claw back workers’ rights

Posted on: August 14th, 2022 by Sam No Comments
Oil refinery workers wildcat strike

Wildcat strike by oil refinery workers blocks the road in Grangemouth, Scotland. (Picture: Twitter)

As the cost of living surges, wildcat strikes are back. An increasing number of workers are downing tools to rage against the bosses. The term “wildcat strike” is used to describe a workers’ strike that bypasses the limitations of the trade union bureaucracy and the Tories’ oppressive anti-union laws.

Instead of waiting to go through the process of negotiations, indicative ballot, strike ballot and then waiting for strike dates, a wildcat strike is where workers act immediately. Most importantly it is action that rank and file workers push from below.

Amazon workers who took part in wildcat strikes last week showed that they could do just that when they refused to accept a pay rise of just 35p. These strikes have spread to other Amazon “fulfilment centres” but it’s not just Amazon workers taking action.

Construction, oil refinery and other workers are coming together and participating in wildcat strikes, demonstrating a radical mood to fight back immediately. These strikes should be celebrated and encouraged to spread.

The distinction between what is “unofficial” and “official” has often been blurred. One example was a series of powerful unofficial walkouts at Royal Mail in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Often these would be over outrageous disciplinary moves by management.

Workers didn’t want to wait for ballots—they wanted the decision reversed immediately. And they often won very quickly.

Formally the walkouts were utterly spontaneous and nothing to do with the union. This was so they could avoid punishment under the anti-union laws.

But anyone who knew anything about what really happened was aware that the better union officials sometimes played a role. This was known as giving a “nod and a wink” to the rank and file.

Often workers take unofficial action alongside official action. This was especially true in the 1970s.

In 1973 Colin Barker wrote in International Socialism journal, “The building workers’ strike in 1972 was turned into a national strike by unofficial action. In varying degrees, the same was true of strikes in the docks, at Ford, in the Post Office and the local authorities. In each case, the leadership was forced into giving official approval by a rising swell of unofficial action and the threat of ‘loss of control’.”

The most important lesson that wildcat strikes teach us, is that workers can organise themselves. Workers can use their knowledge to decide what to do, where to protest, who to contact about joining strikes and how not to get sacked. They can develop new tactics to fight, as they are the ones who truly know the best way to slow down production.

Building rank and file organisation and control of workers’ strikes terrifies the bosses. And it is through participation that workers’ confidence and ideas to win can grow.

A wildcat strike by refuse workers at Welwyn Hatfield Borough council managed to oust a manager that staff said was a sexist bully. Now workers say they have the confidence to strike for better pay.

For non-unionised workers, wildcat action raises the issue of what comes next. For some that will be signing up with one of the established unions.

That may provide protection and an existing layer of support. But it can also extinguish the element of raw anger and struggle. The union can mould the activists to its way of organising rather than the activists continuing to call the shots.

On other occasions, as at Amazon in the US, workers set up their own union. As Tory rules push working class people to the brink, every strike, whether official or wildcat, must try and replicate the militancy the wildcats have shown. 

Karol Modzelewski—a fighter against the Stalinist system

Posted on: August 13th, 2022 by TTE No Comments

Polish workers revolt in Poznan

Karol Modzelewski was an inspiration to anyone fighting for a socialist society where ordinary people are in charge. He always supported workers’ struggles, right up until his death last week. 

Modzelewski played a key role in the ten million-strong Solidarity rebellion that rocked the Stalinist dictatorship in 1980-1. And after it was brought down in 1989, he opposed neoliberal shock therapy. 

The Poznan Workers’ Uprising of June 1956 turned Modzelewski into a revolutionary socialist. For all the Stalinist regime’s rhetoric of socialism and people’s democracy, workers had no control in Russia and the Eastern Bloc. They were state capitalist societies, where the state bureaucracy behaved like bosses in the West. 

In Poznan, western Poland, workers rose up amid attacks on living standards. The Stalinist authorities sent tanks to quell the revolt, killing around 50 workers. But discontent continued to bubble across the country. Rebellious Lechoslaw Gozdzik, the 25 year old workers’ leader at Warsaw’s FSO car plant, asked Modzelewski and other rebellious students to organise discussions with workers. He went every day. 

By October 1956, the Russians were ready to send tanks into Warsaw. Modzelewski joined the occupation of the FSO plant, where workers were armed with a few guns, metal castings and petrol bombs. A new Polish leadership diffused the situation and the tanks turned back, but Modzelewski continued to oppose the dictatorship. 

In 1966 Modzelewski and Jacek Kuron wrote the Open Letter to the Party, a powerful Marxist indictment of the Stalinist system. They argued that state control of industry did not make Poland a socialist state. It was a class society where the bureaucracy’s goal was “production for the sake of production”. This echoed Karl Marx’s words about how profit maximisation and accumulation are central to capitalism. It was published by socialists around the world, including the forerunners of the Socialist Workers Party. 

Modzelewski and Kuron were sentenced to prison for this call for genuine socialism. And Modzelewski received a further prison term for being one of the leaders of the 1968 student revolt in Warsaw.

In the 1970s, Modzelewski devoted his time to academic studies. But when the Solidarity workers’ rebellion began in 1980, he rushed to become involved. The new movement’s power was based on mass strikes, occupations and the formation of inter-workplace strike committees (MKS). 

Modzelewski saw a group of strikers in Gdansk with a banner that said MKS Solidarity. On his suggestion the new independent union was named Solidarity. Modzelewski was no longer a revolutionary, but he was committed to building a strong workers’ movement. He resigned as Solidarity’s official spokesperson in March 1981 after Solidarity leader Lech Walesa called off an indefinite general strike. 

He was interned when the regime introduced martial law in December 1981. Modzelewski was one of the few well-known Solidarity opposition leaders to oppose the neoliberal “transformation” after 1989. 

In the early 1990s he tried unsuccessfully to form a Labour-type party. But he continued to back strikers. Only days before his death he called today’s leadership of Solidarity strike-breakers. They had cut a deal with the right wing government before the massive school and nursery strike took place.

Don’t let right exploit Salman Rushdie stabbing to whip up Islamophobia

Posted on: August 13th, 2022 by TTE No Comments
A picture of Salman Rushdie

Novelist Salman Rushdie (Picture: Wikimedia/Creative Commons)

The appalling stabbing of novelist Salman Rushdie in New York is certain to unleash a renewed tide of Islamophobia, whatever the details of his attacker. This reaction has to be opposed.

Rushdie was attacked on stage at the end of a literary event on Friday. According to his literary agent, on Saturday morning Rushdie was on a ventilator and unable to speak. He added that the author may lose one eye.

Rushdie catapulted to fame with Midnight’s Children in 1981, which went on to sell over one million copies in Britain alone. Rushdie, who had grown up in India and then moved to Britain, was well known for his criticism of colonialism and Western imperialism. And for siding with black and Asian people who faced racism in Britain. 

But his fourth book, published in 1988—The Satanic Verses—saw him go into hiding for fear of his life.

It includes a Prophet Muhammad-like figure who is depicted as lecherous, unscrupulous and a false prophet. Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini called for Rushdie and all those associated with the book to be put to death for blaspheming the Prophet Mohammed. 

Many millions of Muslims across the world saw the book as a conscious slur just as the tide of anti-Muslim hatred worldwide was growing.

Rushdie said he wasn’t attacking Muslims and his novel was a work of fiction. That didn’t stop opposition to the book becoming the focus for many Muslims in Britain. They faced mass job losses and brutal racism from a Tory government that had been waging class war for ten years. 

In the absence of a strong and united working class movement after the defeat of the Miners’ Strike of 1984-5, anger at Rushdie became a convenient but misplaced target. 

But it was never enough just to defend Rushdie. The “Rushdie affair” was used by sections of the right and liberals to step up a myth of  irrational and violent Muslims who were a threat to Western “civilisation”. They bayed for them to be repulsed by a battery of new laws in Europe and war abroad.

The offensive against Muslims in 1989 was a foretaste of what would be stepped up even more  during the War on Terror after 9/11. 

The Daily Mail newspaper raged, “Who asked Muslims to run our lives?” The Daily Star’s editorial against the secretary of the Bradford Council of Mosques was headlined, “Clear Off.” The Sun said there was “no place for murderers.” In less strident but equally poisonous tones, The Independent said there were “limits to mutual tolerance”.

That wasn’t what Rushdie wanted. In his last interview before he went into hiding, he told Socialist Worker, “In England, the most reactionary elements within the Asian community have fed stereotypes present in the most reactionary elements within white society.

“So it’s no pleasure to me to be supported by the Sun when it’s referring to Asians as rats. I’m not on the Sun’s side in that. I’d sooner be with the rats.”

Influential sections of the right sympathised with those who wanted to shut Rushdie up. They didn’t like an anti-imperialist, even if he was now targeted by Muslims. 

“We have known in our own religion people doing things which are deeply offensive to some of us. We feel it very much. And that is what is happening to Islam,” said Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher. She added that “great religions” would “endure long after the names of the people who criticised them have been forgotten”.

Her hatchet man Norman Tebbit said Rushdie’s life was “a record of despicable acts of betrayal to his upbringing, religion, adopted home and nationality”. 

In subsequent years Rushdie was a long way from anti-imperialism. He supported the 1999 Nato bombing of Yugoslavia and the US-led invasion in Afghanistan. However, he didn’t line up with the B52 liberals’ wholehearted backing for the British and US war in Iraq. He later said veils worn by Muslim women “suck” as they were a symbol of the “limitation of women”. Rushdie was certainly safe enough to be knighted in 2007 under the Tony Blair warmongers’ government.

Socialist Worker consistently argued, “No to censorship, no to racism”. In February 1989 its front page defended Rushdie’s right to criticise religion. But it also defended “the right of everyone to practise their religion “ and for Asians to “be defended against sickening racist intolerance”. 

As the right gears up for a wave of Islamophobia, it’s crucial that this socialist message from 1989 rings out clearly again.

Aslef strike builds further for rising arc of struggle against bosses and Tories

Posted on: August 13th, 2022 by Charlie No Comments
Seven Aslef strike pickets at Eusto in T-shirts that  say they were Key workers but are now "a greedy workshy union member"

Aslef strike pickets at Euston (Picture: Guy Smallman)

A huge real terms pay cut pushed 6,000 train drivers in the Aslef union to walk out for a second 24-hour strike on Saturday.

And with inflation at 11.8 percent the strike “is even more important now than when we initially voted”, striking train driver Tom from Oxfordshire told Socialist Worker.

Workers struck at nine train operating companies that are refusing a pay rise. The drivers at these companies have not had an increase for more than three years—since April 2019.

The bosses say the decision now is down to the government and the government says it’s down to the operating companies.

Andy from Manchester Aslef told Socialist Worker, “This is a blatant attack on workers post-Covid. The bosses give contracts to their friends and families and they expect us to pick up the bill.”

He added, “We will fight for every term and condition they want off us.”

“We haven’t had much choice but to strike,” said Tom. “All rail workers have seen multi-million pound deals given to the rail network and bosses being paid handsomely.

“What we are asking for isn’t unreasonable—we’ve seen the money, passenger levels are almost up to pre-pandemic levels. We just want a new pay deal that acknowledges we worked through the pandemic and the high cost of living.”

Before the pandemic, train operators paid out dividends to shareholders worth £262 million. During the pandemic’s first year, they still managed to pay out £38 million.

Avanti West Coast bosses lied to passengers that Aslef strikes were causing disruption on non-strike days. They used this as a cover as they slashed services this week. Aslef general secretary Mark Whelan said, “There is—and has been—no unofficial industrial action on Avanti. 

Big line of Aslef union members in hi-vis yellow jackets and supporters during Aslef strike in Edinburgh

On the picket line during the Aslef strike in Edinburgh

“The truth is that the company does not employ enough drivers to deliver the services it has promised passengers it will run. The company itself has admitted that 400 services each week are dependent on drivers working their rest days.”

Transport minister Grant Shapps fuelled the disinformation adding, “Archaic rules from 1919 mean working on rest days is voluntary.”

Shapps probably doesn’t know that 1919 was the year of a great railway strike which saw members of what was then the National Union of Railwaymen bring the rail network to a complete standstill for nine days.

They were fighting 20 percent pay cuts. The government eventually capitulated and workers won big concessions—although union leaders then backed off as Britain moved towards the brink of revolution.

The only thing “archaic” about the present situation is that bosses and shareholders have trousered hundreds of millions while workers get wage cuts.

Despite attacks from bosses and Tories the strikers received masses of support on around 40 major picket lines. Members of the Unison union joined the picket line at King’s Cross in London, NEU members joined in Derby, the IWW in Oxford, Unite in Hull and Extinction Rebellion in Portsmouth among others.

Tom added, “The support we’ve been getting is really reassuring when the media is not on our side.”

The strike has the potential to escalate with strike ballots closing at Chiltern Railways, Northern Trains and TransPennine Express on 25 August.

Aslef leaders mustn’t delay calling more dates—and these should be in unison with other rail and bus workers who will walk out from Thursday.

The rail workers have started a movement against the Tories and bosses’ low wage, high profit system that needs numbers to spread to more industries.

Not only can the rail workers win on pay but they can tear apart the fragile Tory party and raise larger demands of renationalisation.

  • For pictures from the strike across Britain go to our Twitter here

Post workers say bosses’ scab plans won’t win

Posted on: August 12th, 2022 by Jeandre Coetser No Comments
line up of parked non descript vans that royal mail plan to use for scab workers

Vans for use of agency workers during the strike lined up in Nottingham last week (Picture: @CWUNEWS)

As 115,000 postal workers prepare to walk out for four days for pay in August and September, Royal Mail bosses are doing all they can to limit the strike’s effectiveness. Managers are plotting to train agency workers and build a scab workforce to try and undermine the strike.

It’s an attempt to use the new laws recently passed by the Tories that freed up employers to use agency workers without any restrictions during disputes.

Royal Mail hopes the sight of people going into work and doing strikers’ jobs will demoralise those on the picket line. And the firm may even set up scab centres wholly staffed by agency workers.

The regional secretary for the CWU union in the Midlands, Mark Harper, told Socialist Worker that these tactics are nothing workers “aren’t used to.” And he added that will in no way blunt the strike’s effectiveness.

 “We have over 100,000 workers walking out—there’s no way they will be able to cover all our work,” he said.

“On Monday last week, white rental vans turned up to our mail centre in Nottingham—not using the normal red ones, that would be too recognisable. Rather than give us a pay rise, they want to waste money on agency workers and vans.

“Managers are trained to drive larger vehicles, and agency workers will do only time‑sensitive stuff—it will barely scratch the surface.”

The vans appear to come from Thrifty cars. Unions should campaign to end any contracts with them and turn up at their offices if they continue knowingly to supply the scabbing operation.

Ben, a CWU member in Nottingham said the process will be “chaos” adding that “it shouldn’t be allowed.”

He said that using agency workers now is a glimpse of the future the company wants.

“Royal Mail is no longer a public service. It’s all for the shareholders,” he said.

“Agency workers and zero hour contracts are what the Tories want. We worked through the pandemic. Now they’re doing this to us. It’s all their idea to save costs—to break the structure of the workforce.”

And agency workers aren’t automatically scabs. Mo, a postal worker in Walsall, told Socialist Worker, “Myself and the union reps will still try to educate them when they try to cross the picket line.”

Mark added, “We have casual and agency staff in the CWU— some are using their days off on strike days. It means Royal Mail is fishing in a small pond for these workers.”

One agency worker, David tweeted, “I’ll be blocking the days out, so I don’t get shifts on the strike days.”

Large numbers, mass pickets and solidarity, are the postal workers’ strengths, and no agency workers will break that.  If bosses set up scab centres, the union should call mass pickets at them for strikers and their supporters.

NHS activists say mood to fight is strong as unions announce ballots

Posted on: August 12th, 2022 by Jeandre Coetser No Comments
picture of Unison union balloon at big march fopr workers rights

Can unions keep up the momentum? (Picture:Flickr/Nick Efford)

Unions are asking hundreds of thousands of health workers if they are prepared to strike over pay. If the answer is a big enough yes, it could electrify the fight over the cost of living crisis.

On Friday unions in Scotland announced the results of consultative ballots that all saw a massive rejection of the 5 percent offer from the Scottish government. Unison members voted 91 percent to reject, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) 90 percent, the GMB 97 percent and Unite 89 percent. Unison has announced it will move to a formal strike ballot.

In England activists say the mood to fight is strong, but union foot-dragging risks dissipating the anger and reducing the voting turnout to below the crucial 50 percent level under Tory anti-union laws.

The Unite union, representing laboratory staff and others, has begun a five-week consultative ballot. The RCN will ballot for strikes from 15 September. And the Unison union is balloting for strikes—but not until 3 October in Scotland and 27 October in England and Wales.

But Janet Maiden, a nurse and Unison activist, worries that separate and drawn out plans for industrial action will weaken the battle for pay.

“It’s exciting to see so many workers on strike. And it’s even better now that different health workers are being balloted to fight for better pay,” she told Socialist Worker.

“But it would be even better to see Unison collaborating and getting itself in gear sooner.” Janet added that the cost of living crisis, plunging many workers and nurses into poverty, has to be stopped now rather than later.

“The issues we face—rising bills, poverty and being unable to afford food—aren’t going anywhere. And it’s only going to get hard if we don’t strike now.

Bills are going up again in winter and already nurses around me are in distress about how they’ll make ends meet.” In her workplace last week younger nurses who are in the RCN union were discussing going on strike and asked questions about how it works.

“They were talking about not giving notice and being ready to just walk out,” Janet said. “If we all came out on the same day that would be a real show of strength.”

But, “Unison really knows how to pop the bubble of anger and enthusiasm. The reality is members are being stirred up now. They want to fight.

“And the £1,400 pay rise we’ve been offered will start going into people’s accounts while balloting is going on. For some people that is a lot more than what they’re getting now.

“There is a need for urgency to get on with it quicker. Otherwise, we could be having arguments about fighting for the difference between what we want and what we’ve been given.”

Unison instead is “too busy” trying to follow anti-union laws that stifle momentum. Janet explained, “Bureaucrats are scratching their heads, wondering how they can get higher than the 25 percent turnout we had last year.

“They’re always behind the membership. And they make you feel like you can’t fight properly in any union.”

Janet added it was important that a meeting of the health executive team was called as soon as the ballot plans were announced.

“But now we need to re-examine the timetable for the ballot. If nurses who are new to trade unionism and action are ready for strikes, that must be happening in little pockets everywhere.”

Janet said the task for activists in Unison now is to “look out for potential new activists while fighting this pay battle.” And to fight for the future of the NHS, with low staffing numbers a constant issue while on shift.

“It means we can find out who’s out there,” she said. “Situations like this always throw up amazing people in corners you didn’t expect to find them.

“We also have to argue with people who say that we’re paid better in comparison to others. People say it’s not okay for us to leave our patients. But they’re suffering now anyway.

“We’re demoralised, so patients will continue to suffer more as more nurses quit. A number of colleagues say they’d earn more in Costa. We’re talking about the future of the service here.”

Striking while the momentum is building is vital for successful strikes to win pay. But it’s also crucial to build workers’ confidence to inflict the changes across society that are desperately needed.

The workers’ revolt at Amazon keeps spreading

Posted on: August 11th, 2022 by Jeandre Coetser No Comments
Amazon workers stage sit in Bristol fulfillment centre on Thursday morning in a series of wildcat strikes

Bristol Amazon workers added to the wave of wildcat strikes on Thursday (Picture: Twitter/@walkout20201)

The revolt at Amazon goes on—workers struck and held a sit-in at the Bristol BRS1 centre on Thursday morning. Workers also walked out on Thursday at the BHX1 Site in Rugeley.

Wildcat walkouts, slowdowns and strikes at Amazon fulfilment centres have continued in several areas despite intimidation from managers and bosses. Dave*, who works at the BHX4 fulfilment centre in Coventry, told Socialist Worker, “Managers were telling us if we do protest, we won’t be paid from the minute we leave our work areas.” 

He added that managers are even trying to use “divide and rule” tactics, to ensure that workers don’t take action.

“Managers are telling some workers they’ll be rewarded if they keep working. Some are also being given easier jobs than others. Of course, people are getting rattled by this. 

“I feel like the managers are trying to get us to go against each other instead of the issue of pay.”

But despite all this, Dave said that workers still want to fight as conditions worsen at Amazon. 

“People are still angry,” he said. “The British arm of Amazon made £20 billion between January and June this year. 

“Things have got a lot worse since Jeff Bezos decided he wants to play astronaut. The new CEO has no idea what goes on in the warehouses. And this lack of care plays out in our fulfilment centre in Coventry. 

“On Wednesday a staff member had to be taken away in an ambulance, but the board didn’t count it as an incident. 

“This job is slowly becoming a rapid descent into hell, but most of us can’t afford to leave,” he added. 

Workers at the Coventry and Tilbury deports sparked a wave of sit-ins and walkouts last week after hearing they would not receive a pay rise of more than 35p or 50p an hour.

In several depots, workers have now been told they won’t receive a pay rise at all. Anger at this news quickly spread to other fulfilment centres, from Bristol to Leicester, and turned into action.  More than 200 workers at the depot in Swindon struck and protested in the canteen on Monday of this week. 

One worker said, “The management has announced they won’t approve the pay rise or change their decision and say they can’t help us.

“Amazon is a very profitable company, and we deserve fair pay. Just 35p is next to nothing in a situation like this. That works out to £700 a year, which will cover maybe two months of energy bills.

“It’s worrying me because mortgage rates have gone up, as has the price of fuel, groceries and energy. We have families—how will we pay the bills?

At fulfilment centres in Dartford, Tilbury,  Belvedere, Hemel Hempstead, Chesterfield and Rugeley, workers took part in “slowdowns” this week. 

This means that they picked only one package an hour.

Dave said he expects a new wave of anger in Coventry and elsewhere when the new “pay rise” comes into operation next month. 

“Hopefully once September comes and we actually see how badly we’ve been screwed with the “raise”. That’s when it really starts,” he added. 

Dave and other Amazon workers are making it clear that they won’t allow this corporate giant to get away with paying them pennies anymore. Workers must keep putting pressure on Amazon, escalate strikes and call for staff in more fulfilment centres to join them. 

Amazon workers joining a coordinated strike of bus drivers, rail workers, BT workers and Royal Mail workers, who all have mandates to strike, would send a strong message to the bosses and the Tories.

  • Dave is a pseudonym