Amazon workers stage Black Friday strike across 40 countries protesting pay and working conditions

Thousands of Amazon warehouse workers across the globe staged a massive strike on Black Friday that was organized by the group “Make Amazon Pay,” demanding better pay and working conditions, including the right to unionize.

(Video Credit: ABC News)

The strike took place in 40 countries on Friday, including the U.S., Germany, and France in a protest titled “Make Amazon Pay Day.” It was rallied on Twitter under the hashtag #MakeAmazonPay.

Workers in St. Peters, Missouri halted their work. Other employees conducted protests at Whole Foods stores which are owned by Amazon. Protests took place in Bessemer, Alabama; Columbia, Maryland; Detroit, Michigan; Durham, North Carolina; Joliet, Illinois; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; and Washington, DC, according to the Daily Mail.

Amazon workers in New York City held a protest in front of the residence of billionaire Jeff Bezos.

“For workers and consumers, the price of everything is going up. And for everyone, the global temperature is rising and our planet is under stress. But instead of supporting its workers, communities, and the planet, Amazon is squeezing every last drop it can. We are workers and citizens divided by geography and our role in the global economy but united in our commitment to Make Amazon Pay fair wages, its taxes and for its impact on the planet,” Make Amazon Pay wrote in a socialist list of demands shared on its website. “Amazon takes too much and gives back too little. It is time to Make Amazon Pay.”

Christy Hoffman, general secretary of UNI Global Union who led the protests, issued a statement proclaiming, “‘On Black Friday, in what has already been named #MakeAmazonPay day, unions, civil society and progressive elected officials will stand shoulder to shoulder in a massive global day of action to denounce Amazon’s despicable multimillion-dollar campaigns to kill worker-lead union efforts.”

“It’s time for the tech giant to cease their awful, unsafe practices immediately, respect the law and negotiate with the workers who want to make their jobs better,” she declared.

 

Amazon has become a target of the progressive left, pushing workers to bully the company over what they claim are grueling hours and timed toilet breaks.

A labor group that organized the German strike claims Amazon uses computers and algorithms to create benchmarks for productivity without taking into account an employee’s physical ability and age, Bloomberg reported.

According to the Strategic Organizing Center, a coalition of unions, almost half of all injuries at U.S. warehouses occurred at Amazon in 2021. That might be because Amazon has the largest warehouses in the nation. The narrative is meant to foist unionization on the company.

“Amazon employed one-third of all warehouse workers in the US, but it was responsible for nearly one-half (49%) of all injuries in the warehouse industry,” the report contended.

Amazon has previously denied the injury rates claims at its warehouses and has defended its safety record.

The warehouse at Staten Island in New York City was the first one to move to unionize. Others are following suit and a federal judge has ordered Amazon to stop action against employees participating in workplace attempts to form a union. That followed the National Labor Relations Board bringing suit against Amazon in March, demanding that an employee be reinstated after being fired for organizing the union in Staten Island.

Other countries that held strikes included: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, and Turkey.

Ten fulfillment centers in Germany saw work stoppages, according to the Verdi union.

Monika di Silvestre, Verdi’s representative for Amazon workers, stated, “This is the first time that Amazon has had an international strike day. This is very important because a major global corporation like Amazon cannot be confronted locally, regionally, or nationally alone.”

(Video Credit: The Daily Mail)

A spokesperson for Amazon commented to the press, “These groups represent a variety of interests, and while we are not perfect in any area, if you objectively look at what Amazon is doing on these important matters you’ll see that we do take our role and our impact very seriously.”

“We are inventing and investing significantly in all these areas, playing a significant role in addressing climate change with the Climate Pledge commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040, continuing to offer competitive wages and great benefits, and inventing new ways to keep our employees safe and healthy in our operations network, to name just a few. Anyone can see for themselves by taking a tour at one of our sites,” the spokesperson noted.

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Republished with permission from American Wire News Service

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