On the Amazon workers’ strike rally in Coventry (Picture: Ferdousara Uddin/ Twitter)

Mass pickets and protests forced Amazon bosses to shut down a warehouse in Coventry on Saturday.

Around 100 Amazon workers and 300 trade unionists and campaigners rallied outside the BHX1 fulfilment centre on Saturday evening. PCS, RMT, Unite, NEU and UCU union members supported the protest, initiated by the Rank & File Combine group. Workers marched down the street to outside the fulfilment centre. 

Amazon striker Darren Westwood is one the GMB union members, who’ve staged a series of walkouts over pay during the last year. He told the crowds, “We’re taking on one of the richest guys in the world. 

“What we’ve done is we’ve shut down that warehouse. The support from everyone here has meant the bosses have had to shut.” 

Bosses sent day shift workers home at 3 pm on full pay, and night shift workers were told to simply not go in. 

Harry Eccles from NHS Workers Say No told the crowd, “We believe in the power of workers to organise themselves, to recognise their worth and value and stand up and demand better. I was inspired by the courage of Amazon workers. 

“It gives us courage in our battle. It gives us courage when we’re fighting for ourselves, our NHS and our public services. We draw strength from the workers that called that wildcat strike.” 

Richard Milner, a local Unite union activist, added, “I work at Barclays Bank and at every branch meeting there is a unanimous vote to donate money to the Amazon workers’ strike fund. 

“Workers are identifying that there is a broader fight going on, and they are identifying with other strikers. More unions need to give money to the strikers—solidarity is our weapon.” 

The walkouts in Coventry marked one year since the workers went out on wildcat strike last summer. It was also the first time workers from two different Amazon sites stood together on strike. Workers at the Rugely fulfilment centre in Staffordshire struck on Thursday and Friday for their first time.

The previous day around 400 strikers picketed the warehouse—in defiance of bosses’ attempts to stop them. On Thursday night Amazon bosses put up fences around the warehouse and on the sides of the road leading up to the fulfillment centre. 

None of this stopped workers from blocking roads to stop traffic and trying to convince drivers not to cross picket lines.   

The police tried to ensure that cars and buses could travel in both lanes, but strikers stood firm and continued to block traffic. But there were fewer cars to block than usual—as more people have joined the union. 

The whole trade union movement must put their support behind the Amazon workers—and workers have to push the GMB to spread the strikes further. After every strike day workers in Rugely and Coventry should call mass strike meetings to discuss where next.  Saturday showed the power of mass picketing and solidarity. 

Original post


We’d love to keep you updated with the latest news 😎

We don’t spam!

Leave a Reply

We use cookies

Cookies help us deliver the best experience on our website. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies.

Thank you for your Subscription

Subscribe to our Newsletter