Solidarity with Gorillas Workers Collective
Updated: Aug 4
*A fellow worker from IWW Ireland currently in Berlin, Germany has been regularly attending Gorillas Workers Collective strike actions across the city as their industrial dispute continues. This interview is one of two recent reports.
Who are Gorillas Workers Collective?
We are a group of Berlin-based riders and warehouse workers who started organizing at our workplace back in early February to improve working conditions in the company and to build closer relationships among our colleagues.
What has life been like for workers on the picket lines over these past few weeks?
Firstly, it’s important to understand that due to their nature, the strikes are not an everyday occurrence but rather pop up more or less frequently in different warehouses in Berlin. For us the picket lines are a great opportunity to talk to other workers and from an outsider perspective often look like a large street gathering rather than a strike. It usually takes 10-15 mins of blocking the entrance door to the warehouse to have the warehouse manager cease operations. After it’s all a political debate. Our goal, as the GWC, is however not to lead the strikes, but to encourage other workers to take initiative and provide them any support they may need.
Have you had support and solidarity from other workers in other unions around the country or further afield?
Yes, apart from the unofficial support we have received from the FAU and the support from social-democratic trade unions of which we are also members, we are also supported by a variety of different community groups such as KGK, Migrantifa and many more. Lately, there have been many workers from other industries such as school teachers and hospital workers who have not only been showing public support for our struggles, but also coming by the warehouses and talking to workers.
For those watching from home or via social media, how can they express their solidarity with the workers action at this time? Is the strike fund still live?
The strike fund is very much alive and may be the best way to support our efforts from afar!
If you had a message for workers who find themselves in the same situation in the days and months ahead, what would it be?
We should always remember that organising isn’t something that can be done in 1 day or in 1 month. It’s important to be patient and build up pressure slowly, but also to anticipate the company’s next move, always be ahead of them while building close relationships with your colleagues and involving as many people as possible.
"Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world." -Dolores Huerta "The most important word in the language of the working class is SOLIDARITY." -Harry Bridges
An injury to one is an injury to all!
Gorillas Workers Collective on Twitter HERE
Gorillas Workers have recently set up a strike fund to help them through these challenging moments which have led workers to take direct action amidst hostility from bosses at a high personal stake. Strike Fund HERE
You can send a message of solidarity with the Gorillas Workers Collective here: firstname.lastname@example.org