Amazon workers in Minworth on the picket lines Picture: Darren Westwood

At least 50 Amazon workers stood together on picket lines at the EMA4 fulfilment centre in Minworth near Birmingham on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. 

One striker told Socialist Worker there was a “really good turnout this morning. Minworth Amazon is feeling the love. At least another 50 new members joined the GMB union”. 

Darren Westwood, an Amazon striker at the Coventry Amazon centre, visited the picket to support his fellow workers. 

He wrote on Twitter, “Amazon Minworth is on strike for two days this week. I spent a lot of time talking to our new members. They have all the same issues we have in Coventry. The strike is growing, so if Amazon was my company, I’d pay them what they want.”

Workers at the Minworth site already have experience of striking after taking to picket lines in January of this year. 

But as a supporter of the strike said, pickets were bigger this time. 

Just a week before strikes in Minworth, workers at the Coventry site also walked out, organising hundreds-strong picket lines. 

Rachel Fagan, GMB organiser, said that last month was “one of the biggest months of strike action in Amazon’s history.

“Pressure on Amazon to do the right thing is growing, and GMB members are determined to win.”

Health workers are demanding respect 

The Health care assistants (HCA)’s fight to be regraded from band 2 to band 3 continues to get results. The Unison union last week called off planned strikes at Bedford hospital and Luton and Dunstable hospital.

Workers at Bedford have already struck for 48 hours earlier in March.

Bosses at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are reported to have made an offer to move all HCAs to band 3, along with five years of back pay to 2019.

That’s an improved offer, but Unison has already won deals worth more, with backpay going back further to 2018.  Workers will take part in a ballot over the offer.

Meanwhile in Leicester, workers at three hospitals are set to walk out over the same issue. Management at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust have agreed to move some HCAs to band 3 because it accepts that they perform clinical duties.

But Unison is demanding those workers get back pay to 2018.Strikes are set for next Thursday, Monday 15 April and Thursday 25 April.

Hundreds of pathologists in London are balloting for strikes after their employer imposed a damaging restructure on them. 

Private firm Synnovis has a 15-year contract to run outsourced pathology services for six hospitals—Guys, St Thomas’, King’s College, Princess Royal, the Brompton and Harefield.

The firm wants to transfer most of its staff to a new hub in Blackfriars, in central London, leaving only skeleton essential services at each of the hospitals.

The ballot opened last week and will run for a further four weeks.

Gas engineers are turning up the heat

Emergency gas workers across Yorkshire have voted to strike.  Hundreds of workers for Northern Gas Network voted in impressive numbers for action. 

Across the company 99.5 percent of workers voted to strike on a 97 percent turnout. The engineers say that managers often force excessive workloads on them and there is a culture of bullying

Workers are planning to start strikes soon. Workers fight for their ‘Covid bonus’

Outsourced health workers’ struggle for the government’s “Covid bonus” continues to draw in new groups.

Staff at three hospitals in Nottinghamshire last week voted by 96 percent to strike. The GMB union members include cleaners and security workers working under contract to Medirest.

Medirest has contracts at King’s Mill hospital, Mansfield Community hospital and Newwark hospital. Strike dates are yet to be announced.

Sacked if you can’t go 80 miles to work 

More than 50 health workers are set to be sacked without redundancy pay because they cannot make an 80-mile round trip when their current work site shuts.

The GMB union says Mersey Care NHS Trust wants to stop operations at the Calderstones site in Whalley, Lancashire.

It reports that Trust bosses are “offering unsuitable alternatives”. One union rep said that more than 50 long-standing workers were told they could work about 40 miles away, near Liverpool.

Heathrow Border Force strikes set

More than 600 Border Force officers at Heathrow Airport have voted to strike over changes that threaten 250 jobs. 

Members of the PCS union voted 90 percent in favour of strikes. Walkouts are set for Thursday to Sunday next week. The government could use its new anti-union laws against this section of workers.

Threat of strikes wins for drivers

Lorry drivers based in Essex and Birmingham who work for supermarket giant Sainsbury’s won’t strike after receiving an improved pay offer. 

Workers voted to strike last month after bosses said they weren’t going to pay them any compensation for moving to a different outsourcer. 

Workers will now be compensated for the move.

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