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    After Wisbech, Asda Lowestoft and B’ham Amazon workers vote to strike

    Amazon workers hold GMB union placards on the picket line as they hold a strike outside the Amazon fulfilment centre on January 25, 2023 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

    Asda workers in Lowestoft have voted to strike over a litany of issues in the store. Almost 200 GMB members are set to down tools after a majority of 87 per cent voted for industrial action, on an 80 per cent turnout, with strike dates to be announced in coming days.

    Workers are angry at a series of issues including:

    • Cuts in hours
    • Poor quality training
    • Bullying management
    • Health and safety issues not being addressed
    • Fire safety breaches rampant
    • Equal pay not resolved in a timely manner
    • No collective bargaining with GMB

    Lowestoft will become just the third Asda to face a strike, after workers in Gosport walked out last month and with staff at Wisbech set for industrial action over Easter weekend.

    “Asda’s owners are not investing in stores and workers are paying the price,” said Keith Dixon, GMB Regional Organiser.

    “The evidence is clear; thousands of health and safety breaches, including blocked fire exits, fire routes, and fire extinguishers, along with faulty fire alarm systems.

    “At the same time workers face cuts to their hours and inadequate training. They’ve had enough and are walking out to make sure Asda listens.

    “GMB is behind every one of our members within Asda Lowestoft in making sure their voices are heard and they are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

    Amazon – out!

    At the same time, workers at Amazon’s new flagship HQ in Birmingham, a £500 million site that only opened its doors in October, will walk out this week in an escalation of the ongoing strike action hitting the company.

    Between 6:30 – 8:30 and 17:30 – 19:30 on Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 March, workers will strike in protest at the consumer giant’s refusal of mandatory recognition of the union to the Government’s Central Arbitration Committee (CAC).

    Union recognition by an employer becomes mandatory after union membership passes a 50 per cent threshold – although the GMB warned that Amazon had previously resorted to hiring 1000 new workers in a week to reduce membership levels at a stroke.

    The week before, Amazon workers at the company’s Coventry fulfilment centre had walked out, making March the biggest month of strike action in company history.

    “Pressure on Amazon to do the right thing is growing and GMB members are determined to win the pay and union recognition they deserve,” said Rachel Fagan, GMB Organiser.

    “Amazon cannot stand in the way of their workers’ demands for fair pay and union recognition; it’s time for Amazon to do the right thing and stop trampling on workers’ rights.”

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