Workers from five Amazon warehouses in three countries and supporters met in Leipzig for the sixth meeting of this type since 2015.
First we went to Amazon’s Leipzig warehouse LEJ1 to distribute leaflets titled “Stand up for our common interests!”
During the subsequent meeting, we discussed what had happened since our last meeting in Poznan in spring 2017, and we planned new common actions for 2018.
A major topic of the discussion was the need for more grassroots organizing. After years of confrontation with Amazon, participants feel the need to intensify organizing efforts on the shop-floor and break down the boundaries between union members, non-members, shop stewards, etc. – and get all of them involved in a common struggle.
We also discussed the experience of the Make-Amazon-Pay-campaign in Germany. Workers from Germany and Poland expressed some critique, as the action was mostly “from outside”, but there were also positive statements that underlined that such actions help to build up more pressure on Amazon.
Several actions were planned for the next few months:
- “Safe Package” was started in summer 2017 as a campaign that addresses the harmful effects of the speed-ups, controls, and pressure to reach high targets in Amazon warehouses on workers’ health. “Safe Package” days and weeks took place in Amazon warehouses in Poland, Germany, and France in 2017, and they will continue in 2018.
- We decided to intensify our exchange on the many court cases between workers in all participating countries and Amazon. Many of them are about targets, reprimands, and dismissals, and Amazon is using all this to put workers under more pressure and punish union activists for their involvement in the struggle for better conditions.
- * Between March 10 and 12 a group of Amazon workers from Poland and Germany will participate in public discussions on the conditions in Amazon warehouses and their experience of struggle with events in Hamburg, Kiel, and Bremen (Northern Germany).
- On April 24, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos will get an award by the German media corporation Axel Springer in Berlin, and there will be a mobilization to welcome him in the appropriate way.
- We will further develop the contacts we already have with Amazon workers and supporters in the USA, Spain, Italy, and Britain.
As other cross-border meetings before, the common exchange, debate, and shared time during those three days raised our motivation, widened our perspective, and helped planning concrete actions. This rare experience of grassroots organizing beyond union affiliations and country borders helps us in our activity in each warehouse, and we will share the new information and results of the meeting with workers there.
The next meeting will take place in Bad Hersfeld at the end of September this year.
For more information, the next invitation, news, contact, etc. see our blog https://amworkers.wordpress.com