Outside Amazon at Tilbury, 5.8.22
Outside Amazon at Tilbury, 5.8.22

Amazon workers are right to be angry at the offer of just 35p-per-hour increase to pay. Especially during the biggest cost-of-living crisis for a generation and when Amazon’s profits helped send Bezos into space last year. We support the fight for £2 an hour rise now!

You aren’t alone!

Bosses up and down the country are trying to keep their profits and offer tiny increases in pay to their workforces – in reality, pay cuts. But when RPI inflation could be as high as 13%, with energy and petrol prices through the roof, clearly we have to take action for the pay rises we all need.

If Amazon workers organise, continue to protest, or take other forms of action, they would be supported by thousands of other workers – workers who are also thinking of taking action for the pay increases they need.

Strike wave

There is a tidal wave of workers’ struggle in the UK right now. Workers are taking action for a pay rise. From transport workers in RMT and Aslef, to telecom engineers in CWU and more. Public sector unions in schools, local government, the NHS and civil service are all preparing for action in the autumn.

But it isn’t just workers who are already organised into trade unions who are taking action. Amazon workers in Staten Island in the US have voted to unionise. Workers in places like Pizza Express, McDonalds and TGI Fridays have also begun to organise in the UK. Millions of people are looking into how to join a trade union, following the recent RMT strikes.

Why organise?

Together we have huge collective strength. The sit-down protests in the Tilbury warehouse canteen showed this. Why was management so keen to get everyone back to work? Because every minute the action continued, Amazon was losing money and orders were going unfulfilled.   

Taking action collectively also makes it harder for them to blame one person or refuse to answer. They can’t ignore the whole workforce. That’s what trade unions are. That’s why we think all working people should join a union, to fight for better pay and conditions. The trade unions are the biggest voluntary organisations in the country, with over 6 million members. They have won huge concessions and improvements in living standards.

Join a union and join the fight back at Amazon!

The Socialist Party says:

  • End Low Pay – for trade union struggle to win a £15 an hour minimum wage.
  • End job insecurity and under-employment. Scrap zero-hour contracts.
  • Employment protection, sickness, parental and holiday rights from day one of work.
  • End bogus self-employment, as a means to avoid giving workers their rights.
  • Open the books – we don’t believe that Amazon can’t afford to pay all staff a real living wage.
  • All strike together! The Socialist Party supports the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) lobby of the TUC congress in September, when the leaders of all the trade unions will be meeting, to call on them to coordinate the action.
  • Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party doesn’t speak for us. He instructs his shadow cabinet members not to support strikes. He sacked a shadow minister for telling the press that workers should get a pay rise. We campaign for a new mass workers’ party, which represents all the struggles in the workplaces and communities, to provide a fighting socialist alternative to the pro-big business parties.

Below Socialist Party members report from Amazon workplaces around the country


Socialist Party members stood with ‘John Doe’ (not his real name) outside the Amazon ‘fulfilment centre’ in Tilbury, Essex, the day after the dramatic work stoppage of Wednesday night and Thursday daytime, 3-4 August.

Video footage from inside the Amazon facility showed hundreds of workers spontaneously refusing to work, as a response to the company’s 35p-per-hour pay insult.

HR addressed workers assembled in the staff canteen, arguing that they had “made their point” and calling for the election of “representatives” who could join in a “round table” so that normal working could be resumed.

According to John, the company promised to come back to answer concerns in a week’s time.

Of course the major concern is very simple: the GMB-organised staff have demanded £2 an hour, and there is very strong support for this demand from the workforce. We have reports from inside the Tilbury centre that there’s a spontaneous go-slow today, and there are reports of a stoppage at the Rugely centre.

The action shows the need and the potential for workers to organise in a union. Both GMB and Unite have had organising campaigns.

Dave Murray, Eastern region Socialist Party


The morning after Amazon’s Rugeley fulfilment centre was hit by the national wave of walkouts, Socialist Party members were at the gate speaking to workers. They told us about how, hours after the measly pay increase was announced by management, news broke that inflation could hit as much as 13%. 

This is at the same time that Amazon’s notorious performance targets are being ramped up to the extent that even longstanding employees are being placed under warning for taking the same number of breaks they have for years!

With a basic rate of barely £10 an hour, workers on the packing section decided they’ve had enough and walked off the job to join a canteen meeting. Management has said it’ll respond to the workers’ demands within seven days – many on the shop floor don’t expect this to be the end of the fight for decent pay and conditions.

Nick Hart, Birmingham Socialist Party


Members of East London Socialist Party dropped by the Amazon warehouse in Bromley-By-Bow on Friday morning to talk to workers about the wildcat strikes spreading through other warehouses.

Virtually all the workers we spoke to – couriers arriving by car, warehouse staff passing via the foot gate, the yard marshals in charge of directing couriers, even the sub-contracted warehouse security guards – had heard of the Amazon strike in Tilbury. According to one warehouse worker, news of the strikes had mainly spread by word of mouth on the shop floor, though others we met said they had seen coverage on BBC news.

There was one student arriving for her 9am shift who said she hadn’t heard of the strike in Tilbury, but when we explained that the workers there had been offered a 35p-an-hour pay offer having demanded £2 from Amazon, she said: “I don’t blame them”. She told us she had taken up a fixed-term contract with Amazon to make ends meet while studying at college. We also spoke to a newly qualified teacher in the NEU who was likewise working at Amazon during the summer holidays to make ends meet.

A manager came out and told us he would “have a stern word” with the warehouse workers and inform them that they didn’t have to speak to us if they don’t want to.  It seems he misjudged the mood of the workforce, however, as a number of workers leaving from their shift stopped to chat, with many telling us they want to strike too. One of them, another young worker, announced to us that he wants to help lead a strike in the warehouse. A yard marshal bought a copy of our paper, the Socialist, and said she would show it to her workmates. She told us that she and other yard marshals had had their hourly pay cut by £3 back in October. The manager we spoke to alleged that workers were “ecstatic” to have received a pay rise since then. But after speaking to the yard marshal, we later found out that, like in Tilbury, workers in Bromley-by-Bow warehouse have been offered a pay rise of just 35p!

The positive reception we received from workers frightened management. The same manager came out a second time and, in an alarmed tone, ask if “any more of us are coming” and if we were “planning a protest”. Shortly after, site security overseeing the entire industrial estate were sent over. As we talked, we asked the security guards how they were managing with the cost-of-living crisis. One replied: “Struggling, like everyone else”. We raised the idea of him joining his union and fighting for a pay rise by striking alongside other workers, like those striking in Amazon. We made the same point to the manager, who himself admitted that the likes of Jeff Bezos have made tens of billions in profit during the Covid pandemic. The Socialist Party says: Take this wealth off the super-rich to give all workers an inflation-busting pay rise and a minimum wage of £15-an-hour!

Adam Powell Davies

Brimsdown, north London

The Socialist Party visited Amazon in Brimsdown, Enfield, three times in two days on 4-5 August. On our first visit, nobody had heard about the Amazon strike for a real pay rise yet, but they were supportive when we told them. On our latest visit, everyone had heard about it. And they were pleased it was happening. We also had a brand new leaflet reporting on Amazon strikes around the country.

Ian Pattison, Enfield and Lea Valley Socialist Party

Brimsdown – 10 August

One driver said: “Yes mate”, when he grabbed the leaflet off us. Another driver explained that he had to initially pay £250 a week for the van he uses for Amazon deliveries. He also complained about the absence of toilet facilities for drivers.

Another person we met, helps his friend everyday with deliveries – it’s impossible to meet Amazon’s targets otherwise. He said: “It’s terrifying what the Tories are trying to do, disgusting they’re trying to ban strikes and protests.”

Most of the workers here are Amazon Flex gig economy drivers. One of these said: “That’s why I don’t work here anymore, the pay was rubbish”.

While there was lots of support, some were sceptical that a pay rise would affect them. One asked: “This isn’t for the drivers though is it?” But we explained how getting organised in a union together can help win pay rises and better workers’ rights for all.

While we were handing out the Socialist Party leaflet, one of the security staff came out to offer us tea and coffee. That’s the first time that’s happened to us outside an Amazon workplace.

But it was another driver that summed up the anger. He said that when his manager offered him a ‘generous’ £1,000-a-year pay rise, he responded by saying: “That’s £20 a week. Stick it up your arse”.

Ian Pattison, Enfield and Lea Valley Socialist Party

Socialist Party members also spoke to Amazon workers in Newham, Bristol and Doncaster.