PROTESTS took place worldwide outside Amazon buildings on ‘Black Friday’ yesterday, in the US, UK and across Europe.
Black Friday is the busiest online shopping sales day all year and for Amazon workers, who are driven to breaking point.
An international coalition of unions, equality and environmental groups called ‘Make Amazon Pay’ staged the 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 Germany, the union Ver.di called on employees at major shipping centres to strike. And in France, major union CGT called 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.
Across the UK, protests took place at Amazon buildings in Coalville, Leicestershire, Coventry, Peterborough, and at its London headquarters.
Mick Rix, GMB National Officer, said: ‘While most people enjoy their Black Friday bargains, Amazon workers are being pushed beyond the limits of human endurance.
‘Each year, ambulance call outs to Amazon sites rocket as workers desperately race to hit their crushing targets.
‘Workers are breaking bones, being left in pain at the end of a shift, and even reportedly being burned by chemicals and getting barred from work for raising covid complaints.
‘We are here today to tell Amazon bosses they can’t deny the facts about the inhumane working practices any longer.
‘This company is a pandemic profiteer and can afford to do better – it’s time for Amazon sit down with their workers’ union GMB and make Amazon a great, safe place to work.’