BBC – Protests are being staged at Amazon buildings in the UK, US, and Europe – on Black Friday.
The shopping sales day is among Amazon’s busiest all year.
An international coalition of unions, equality and environmental groups called “Make Amazon Pay” is staging a day of action.
The movement is demanding Amazon make changes to its business, including improved pay, an end to employee surveillance, and union engagement.
In an unrelated separate protest, the Extinction Rebellion environmental group has blocked the entrances to Amazon distribution centres in the UK.
The group says it has targeted 13 British buildings, including the largest one in Dunfermline.
‘Make Amazon Pay’
The Make Amazon Pay coalition is not affiliated with Extinction Rebellion group, but also has environmental groups such as Greenpeace among its members.
“Amazon takes too much and gives back too little,” it claims – backed by trade unions, grassroots campaigns and non-profit-making organisations in individual countries.
In the UK, that includes:
- the GMB Union
- Trades Union Congress
- War on Want
- International Transport Workers’ Federation
- Labour Behind the Label
No UK Amazon warehouses are unionised, so legally they can’t strike.
Many employees will be working on the day, but campaign groups which include Amazon workers are staging protests at Amazon buildings in Coalville, Leicestershire, Coventry, Peterborough and at its London headquarters.
But strikes are being encouraged elsewhere.
In Germany, for example, the union Verdi called on employees at major shipping centres to strike, beginning on Wednesday night. And in France, major union CGT is also calling for workers to down tools.
Worldwide, nearly 50 organisations have signed up to a list of “common demands”, published by the Make Amazon Pay coalition, which include:
- raising warehouse workers’ pay and adding hazard pay and peak time increments
- halting worker “surveillance” and strict productivity targets
- extending sick leave and improving Covid-19 tracking and reporting
- ending casual employment status and “union-busting” activities
- paying taxes without using loopholes or tax havens
Owen Espley, from the War on Want campaign group, said: “Amazon is abusing its dominance across online retail, cloud services, and logistics, to create unfair competition that is driving down standards for everyone.