The rank and file dispute at the Gateshead Amazon warehouse construction site now appears to have ended in a win, with all sacked workers being offered reinstatement.

On Friday June 18th, around 30-40 workers at the site where Amazon’s new NCL1 warehouse is being built at Gateshead were suddenly sacked, apparently in retaliation for having taken part in a wildcat action earlier that week over safety and workers being given electrical tasks they weren’t properly trained for.

On Monday 21st, the sacked workers picketed out the site in response, and continued to mount a picket for the next two days. On Wednesday 23rd, the contractors on site entered into talks with Unite, and then late on Wednesday afternoon an email was sent out from Des Johnson Recruitment.

The email read:

“Following meetings with our client SIS Systems Senior Management over the last few days regarding the present situation on site, we have now been notified that things have been resolved and we are in a position to offer you the opportunity to return to work with immediate effect, starting tomorrow morning if you wish to do so. As you are all aware there is only a short matter of time left on the Project and matters were taken out of my hands last Friday but your daily attendance would be much appreciated.”

Responding to the news, the North East Anarchist Group wrote:

“We have received reports that the wildcat striking workers at Amazon Gateshead have won their dispute and are being asked to return to work with immediate effect if they wish to do so!

Direct action gets the goods. Militant workers in EVERY workplace. On EVERY street!”

Similarly, Dave Smith of the Blacklist Support Group commented:

“Another stunning victory by the rank & file sparks – this time at the Amazon complex in Gateshead. The Rank & File are showing the way to win in 2021.
Don’t moan about the anti-union laws – defy them.”