Rank and file construction workers have launched a picket at the site of a new Amazon facility after a mass sacking.
On Wednesday June 16th, electricians picketed out the site where Amazon’s new NCL1 warehouse is being built in Gateshead, in response to reports that workers were being given tasks that they hadn’t been properly trained or paid for. The electrical contractor working on site, SSE Enterprise Contracting, initially agreed to workers’ demands and agreed to hire properly trained staff at the agreed rates of pay.
However, on Friday 18th, around 30-40 workers were suddenly sacked by text message and email, with an agency sending out messages saying “We have been informed by our client, SIS systems that today will be your last day on site. Please make sure you take all your tools off site at the end of your shift today as you will be removed from the Winvic scanning system at 13.15 hours. Furthermore our client has made it clear that if there are any issues of threatening behaviour, sabotage or any trouble whatsoever then nobody will be paid by SIS for the week.”
No reason for the sackings was officially given. In response, the construction rank and file picketed the site again on the morning of June 21st, and it seems likely that protests will continue at the site until all the sacked workers are reinstated.