Stop Amazon’s Slave Work Conditions. World Solidarity for Strike in Amazon Spain

Workers at Amazon’s center near Madrid took on the richest capitalist ever, Jeff Bezos , in a 3 day strike on July 16 to 18 (Amazon’s ‘Prime Sales Days’ ) against severe cuts in their working conditions.

On the second day of the strike riot police charged and viciously beat up defiant pickets, injuring many and arresting three, later released with charges. Video of the police attack in favour of Amazon went viral around the world on social media.Amazon’s management thought they could intimidate a local dispute but the assembly based strikers of the anarcho-syndicalist CGT and the CCOO called out 80% of the full time workers, nearly shutting down the operation.

International solidarity was the key breakthrough, union delegates had previously traveled to Italy and Germany to seek support. 1,200 people in six German centers seconded the strike on these same days , while in Poland there have also been days of strikes despite “completely contrary legislation”.

At the end of 2017, workers at a distribution centre in Italy and six Amazon sites in Germany also went on strike to ask for better pay and conditions.

Up to half the workers in the San Fernando Amazon Center are temps hired from agencies with little or no rights and management hoped to use them as strike breakers.

After the first strike in March 2018  Amazon dispensed with over 100 temporary workers for supporting the strike according to the CGT.

Amazon workers in  San Fernando, Madrid consider the strike a success and call the police action “disproportionate”

Image result for Amazon San Fernando huelga

translated by TheFreeOnline from El Salto

The works council describes as “a success” the follow-up of the strike called for July 16, 17 and 18 and highlights the international dimension of the call, with calls for unemployment also in Germany and Poland.

Amazon workers have valued this morning during a rally outside the warehouse of San Fernando de Henares, Madrid, the day of three days of strike that had called for the days 16, 17 and 18 July, coinciding with the Prime Day, a campaign of discounts of the company that supposes an important volume of sales.

With the presence of all the union sections, they have described the call as “a success” and have denounced the police violence that occurred during the second day of the strike, when the agents charged against peaceful information pickets in an “excessive” manner, according to the version of the trade unionists.

One of the two detainees has intervened in the concentration to thank for the solidarity with Amazon workers. “What is at stake is not only the euros that Jeff Bezos may be managing, but also the rights of all workers against the precariousness that the bosses try to impose with the complicity of the Government.”

“The people who have come to work these days were either staff with positions of responsibility or temporary contracted by ETT temp agencies  to replace the people who were on strike,” they assured in reading the statement this morning.

“We can not allow the cuts that we have suffered in occupational health, salaries and conciliation measures,” explained megaphone in hand.

The workers list among the loss of rights of the staff the elimination of various conciliation measures, the elimination of an intermediate category of work (the T2, which will be replaced by posts of a lower-paid category) and the elimination of the payment of temporary disability in the first three days of sick leave.

In addition, the works council assures that “it is false” that there has been an increase of 1.4% of the salary as the company maintains.

According to the committee, the follow-up of the strike called by CGT and CC OO  among the permanent staff has reached 80% in these three days in which, they say, there have been several violations of the right to strike that will be reported .

In reading the statement, the workers highlighted the international dimension of unemployment, which has received support from unions in the US, France and Germany, and recalled that 1,200 people in six German centers seconded the strike they were called in these same days , while in Poland there have also been days of strikes despite “completely contrary legislation”.

Alfonso Dominguez, a member of the Amazon works council for CC OO, explained to El Salto after the rally this morning that the p[olice attacks that occurred on Tuesday against information pickets was used disproportionately.

The intervention of the Police on Tuesday ended with two people being held at the Coslada police station. They accuse them, inform their companions, of an attack against authority, public disorder and disobedience. In addition, a third person was sanctioned.Related image

Alfonso Dominguez explains that there have been no new negotiations after Saturday’s meeting to, he says, try to avoid the strike call. “The address says it can not access our requests,” he explained.Image result for Amazon San Fernando huelga

Amazon Reprisals against striking workers

On the possible reprisals for the three-day strike, he assures that since the mobilizations of four months ago “they grab any issue to fire you”.

translated by TheFreeOnline from El Salto


CGT condemns police violence against striking Amazon staff

The National Police has charged against an information picket at the door of the logistics warehouse in San Fernando de Henares and has arrested two workers who are already at large.

The General Confederation of Labor (CGT) strongly condemns the police charges that have occurred in the early afternoon on the second day of the strike of the staff of Amazon, which is in struggle against exploitation and precariousness.

The police charges have been against an information picket that was in the warehouse door peacefully exercising their right to strike. According to present comrades, the picket has partially invaded the road and the National Police agents have responded with pushes and detaining some people. The rest of the protesters have reacted by protesting against these identifications, against the pushes and finally, against the police charges aimed at workers who were only reporting.Related image

CGT considers that the intervention of the National Police has been totally excessive and unjustified, leaving several wounded and some detainees who have been released late in the afternoon.

CGT denounces what happened this afternoon in San Fernando de Henares, and reminds the State Security Forces and Corps, -integrated by public servants paid by the people they repress- that neither the blows nor the abuse of authority will stop the struggle of the Amazon staff for decent working conditions.


Amazon Reprisals against striking workers

CGT denounced that Amazon has dispensed with 100 temporary workers after the first strike in March 2018… and carried out other reprisals.

basic translation only

Amazon San Fernando: Confronting the richest capitalist in history

Experience the struggle of the working class! For three days, the workers of Amazon in Madrid maintained a strike for their labor rights, despite the division imposed by the company and the repression of the State. The balance of its protagonists and first reflections of a great strike.

Friday, July 20 | 11:26

Despite all the forecasts of those who augured the death of the working class, the 72-hour strike at the Amazon store in San Fernando de Henares has shown that the class struggle not only survives, but seems to be coming back with strength.

Amazon’s ‘Prime Day’ is one of the biggest sales days of the year for the e-commerce company, along with Black Friday in November. That is why the date was strategically chosen by the workers to summon three days of strike in the largest warehouse in Spain. Last year, during the Prime Day, the MAD4 store dispatched almost one million packages. At the beginning of this week, the panorama was very different: an almost empty truck parking lot of cargo and unloading of merchandise.

Amazon workers had already held a strong strike on March 21 and 22, which achieved an extraordinary follow-up of almost 95%. In this case, the strike achieved 80% follow-up between the fixed staff, although it was quite minor in the case of ETT workers (temporary), threatened with layoffs and retaliation by the company.

You may be interested: Strike on Amazon: a great class struggle to make history.. in Spanish ..Huelga en Amazon: un gran combate de clase para hacer historia

“It has been 72 hours of continuous strike that have demanded many hours of picketing and collaboration from all the teammates, but this will ultimately be a triumph that “, valued Marc Blanes, CGT delegate in the workers committee of Amazon.

The ‘Prime Day’ is one of the largest days of Amazon sales worldwide, but “from the warehouse of San Fernando de Henares at least they have not had the chance to take out just orders,” says Marc. “Customers know that they are complaining because they are not arriving with the packages that they had bought, Amazon’s sales commitments are not being met, so we celebrate the success of the call.”Image result for Amazon San Fernando huelga

“These three days of strike have been a complete success,” Douglas Harper, delegate of CCOO in the committee, agrees. “80% of the people  have followed the strike, very few people have entered the group who are mainly responsible for the area, and ETT temp personnel have been hired to replace workers . “he explains.

For Harper the strike has been “a step forward” and the company will have to “make proposals in the negotiation table of the collective agreement.”Image result for Amazon San Fernando huelga

Sara, a store worker  was “proud” for the strike they did. “Now we are waiting for the company to reconsider and offer what we had before”.

But the giant Amazon is not an easy enemy to defeat and the labor unity, both in Spain and internationally, is one of the keys. This is the evaluation made by Moisés Fernández Rico, of the company committee and CGT militant for whom “we can not allow transnationals to continue like that.”

For Moisés, the Amazon struggle is “a movement that is becoming globalized, the principle of a new trade unionism as global as well”, which is how transnational corporations operate. “This is the way, we are going to improve the conditions of all workers worldwide,” he assures with full confidence.

Maite also considers that “the strike has been a success”, but the joy for the fight does not remove her anger art the repression suffered in the afternoon of Tuesday on the part of the National Police, sent by the delegation of the Government of the PSOE (new ”socialist” govt) to Madrid to act as the “guard dogs” of the company.

You may be interested: VIDEO: #HuelAmazon Police charges and three detainees arrested on strike pickets VIDEO: #HuelgaAmazon Cargas policiales y tres personas detenidas en los piquetes de huelga

That is why he denounces ” the police not allowing us to make informational pickets, not allowing the truckers to stop reporting them, assaulting their comradfes, some of them have stitches on their faces, Other companions had to go to the hospital, two detainees, another girl also fined … “.Image result for Amazon San Fernando huelga

For this Amazon worker, who was also in the pickets during the three straight days, the repression was “the worst, but this is not why they will stop us. If they think that giving us three blows, or five or ten they will stop us, this is not the case, because we have to fight, “he says with full conviction.

The repression “gives us even more strength”

, reaffirms Gemma, delegate of CGT in the company committee. “We are workers, we do not give up on our rights.”

“We have a difficult challenge, but with all the people, unions and collectives who have come to support us, including Izquierda Diario, Pan y Rosas, Contracorriente and the CRT, to whom we are very grateful for the fact that they have come.

Image result for Amazon San Fernando huelga

Whenever we have any demonstration or a dispute they are here with us … with them and all of us we can win”, says Luis Miguel Ruiz, delegated by CGT in the committee. They are the words of workers and workers conscious that they have just delivered a new battle against the richest capitalist in history. And they are confronted face to face.

The secret of Amazon

Amazon has a network of logistics centers on a planetary scale. In more than 80 mega stores located in several countries (some are the size of a football field), it accumulates stock of millions of products, from household appliances to food, which are dispatched in a short time to almost any corner of the world.

Aside from the companies of the “new economy”, Amazon sells a story that “the secret of its success” lies in the creativity of Jeff Bezos, in his “entrepreneurial spirit”, or in the integration from robotics to logistics. What this story attempts to make invisible is that Amazon does not work without its employees, and there are many!

Amazon has 560,000 employees worldwide according to company information, including employees of storage centers, customer care services customer and computer. In Germany there are 24,000 workers while the MAD4 center in San Fernando de Henares occupies 1800 workers, between fixed and temporary staff.

You may be interested: Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world, but in Amazon his employees work hard and they earn little Jeff Bezos es el hombre más rico del mundo, pero en Amazon sus empleados trabajan mucho y ganan poco

The company uses its global extension and its network structure to obtain differential advantages in the exploitation of labor. For example, a worker in Poland gets less than one-third that of one in Germany, for the same job. In addition, the unionization rate in this country is lower and labor legislation makes strikes difficult.

Amazon has installed centers in several cities in the west of Poland, very close to the border: it supplies the German market (the second largest in the world for Amazon after the United States) with Polish cheap labour. And when the German unions go to strike, Amazon sends their orders in Poland to scab on German workers.

But Amazon has another secret: it is one of the companies with the highest employment rate. In the case of San Fernando de Henares, 1,100 workers belong to the fixed staff whereas 800 are temporarily hired through companies such as Manpower and Adecco.

After the March strike, about 100 temporary workers were fired, and in these weeks the The company hired more temporary staff to break the strike.

The business committee has denounced these practices as an attempt to violate the right to strike. Unifying the forces of the working class The problem of temporality, however, far exceeds the role played by the Amazon strike to violate the strike right of the staff.


Related image

Last November there were simultaneous strikes in Germany, France and Italy during the Black Friday in November. This week the 72-hour strike in Madrid broke up with strikes in seven German centers and protest actions in Poland. According to the German trade union Ver.di, on Tuesday, the strike ranged between 2,500 and 3,000 workers in that country.

It may be interesting: from Spain to Germany, workers’ strikes shake the ‘Prime Day’ from Amazon Delegats de Several European countries are working to advance international coordination for several months; the representatives of the Madrid Business Committee have traveled to meet their counterparts in Italy, Germany and France on several occasions after the March strike.

The idea of ​​a stronger “European strike” remains a target. The repression that was experienced on Amazon’s doors on Tuesday, with the balance of two detainees and several wounded, was transformed into a ‘boomerang’ for Amazon: hundreds of thousands of people around the world shared the images of police striking workers and workers on social networks.

The strikers have received in a few hours solidarity from different regions of the planet, something that strengthens them enormously to continue the fight.

In February 2018  it became known that Amazon had patented a bracelet that not only tracks the location of workers inside the warehouse while collecting items, but can also read the movements of their hands, buzzing or emitting a pulse to alert them when they are making mistakes.  Similar devices can also measure the number of keys pressed per minute.In the patent registry, Amazon describes it as a device capable of “monitoring the performance of the placement of inventory items in the storage location identified by the inventory system worker.”

Amazon is a capitalist giant hard to beat, but its workers are accumulating experiences and gaining more and more support for To this struggle, both from other sectors of workers and thousands of consumers.


Author: thefreeonline

The Free is a book and a blog. Download free E/book ...”the most detailed fictional treatment of the movement from a world recognizably like our own to an anarchist society that I have read...

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