Amazon goes on strike, Black Friday protests planned

Amazon workers in more than 30 countries planned Black Friday demonstrations and strikes to protest what they saw as unacceptable working conditions.


what you need to know

  • Amazon workers in more than 30 countries planned Black Friday demonstrations and strikes to protest what they saw as unacceptable working conditions
  • Demonstrations and strikes were planned in several US states, as well as in Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom and several other countries
  • Employee grievances against Amazon include falling wages amid high inflation, close scrutiny of workers with inappropriate productivity targets, high injury rates, and a poor environmental record
  • An Amazon spokesman insisted that “we take our role and impact very seriously” on issues like the environment, wages and employee safety

Behind the protests is Make Amazon Pay, a coalition of dozens of different organizations.

Demonstrations and strikes were planned in several US states, as well as in Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom and several other countries. Some promotions were also planned for next week’s Cyber ​​Monday.

Reuters reported that demonstrations were taking place in nine of Amazon’s 20 warehouses in Germany on Friday and that unions called strikes at the e-commerce giant’s eight French warehouses. However, Amazon told Reuters that the vast majority of its employees in Germany were working normally and that there had been no signs of disruption in France.

UNI Global Union, one of the groups leading the Make Amazon Pay initiative, tweeted pictures of demonstrations in Brazil and Belgiumwhile The Associated Press snapped photos of a protest in India.

American demonstrations were planned in Alabama; Florida; Georgia; Massachusetts; Michigan; Missouri; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C.; and Washington state.

An article in The Wire in India, written by representatives from UNI and the group IT for Change, laid out a list of grievances against Amazon, including falling wages amid high inflation, close monitoring of workers with inappropriate productivity targets, high injury rates, lack of break time, a poor environmental record and retaliation against those who raise concerns.

“To bring the machinery of exploitation to a standstill, we must all strike together, everywhere, and at the same time,” the essay states.

Amazon did not immediately respond to an email from Spectrum News seeking comment on the planned demonstrations. A company spokesman told Bloomberg News, “While we’re not perfect in any area, if you look objectively at what Amazon is doing on these important matters, you’ll see that we take our role and impact very seriously.”

The spokesman, David Nieberg, pointed to the company’s goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, adding that Amazon “continues to provide competitive wages and great benefits, and to innovate new ways to keep our employees safe and healthy.” to guarantee”.

In April, Amazon workers in Staten Island, New York, voted to become the first group to unionize at one of the company’s US facilities.

The New York Times reported last week that Amazon was planning to lay off about 10,000 employees in corporate and technology jobs.

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