Submitted on Wed, 10/14/2015 - 4:11pm
By Some Angry Workers - Angry Workers of the World, October 11, 2015
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s. We have republished this open letter to our union in order to stimulate discussion:
Autumnal greetings comrades!
We have known some of you for a while, and met some more of you recently on our film screening ‘tour’ earlier this year. It was great to make some new friends and have some good discussions about what we’re all up to. We thought we’d get in touch with you about some proposals for joint work in the coming year, let us know if you’re interested!
1. We want to start an Amazon workers newsletter
We have lots of translated material of interviews with Amazon workers in Germany, Poland and India, as well as knowing comrades who work in, and have direct contact with, Amazon workers. We could turn this into an (irregular) 2-sided newsletter for Amazon workers in the UK. Polish comrades have set up a small section of the Workers Initiative (IP) syndicalist union inside the warehouse in Poznan, which is now the site of Europe’s biggest Amazon warehouse. It was built to undermine workers at struggling Amazon warehouses across Germany. Workers from Germany and Poland recently had a meeting together to discuss coordinating their efforts:
And at the the recent meeting about transnational strikes in Poznan earlier this month we heard about the idea of Amazon workers organising a bus caravan through Europe.
As of yet, we have no contact with Amazon workers/militants in England who could participate in international meetings or coordinations like these ones. We think this newsletter would be a good step towards this. It would also let workers know what is happening at other Amazon warehouses, which may encourage their own activity e.g. other workers’ experiences of union struggles such as those being led by the ver.di union in Germany; how workers there don’t have a ‘countdown’ on their scanner/watch, which has relieved some of their work pressure; or the overtime slow-down strike in Poznan in support of the workers on strike in Germany (they had been ordered by management to work overtime as they supply for the German market, so essentially the workers in Poland were refusing to be scabs).
Would any of you be interested in working on this together? Essentially this would mean co-writing and/or distributing the paper outside Amazon warehouses when shifts start and/or finish. Because we are based in London, we are not immediately near any Amazon warehouses but could also come from time to time to help out. You could build on these links in whatever ways you had the capacity for within your local. At the moment it just seems a shame that we have all these materials and contacts that would make a great newsletter and they’re not being put to use!
We made a list of Amazon warehouse locations below  so if your local has the time, capacity, energy and will to focus on these workers, or at least start something and then see how things go, get in touch and we can discuss in more detail.
If you’re worried that your local not having the longer-term resources to support workers if the newsletter does prove to be a catalyst for workers wanting to organise, then let’s discuss how this could be overcome.