Amazon faces black Friday strikes in major regions across the globe. On the biggest shopping weekend of the year, the e-commerce giant is reported to face some worker actions and also climate activists are reported to block some distribution centers all over the globe.
Amazon Faces Black Friday Strikes In Major Regions Across the Globe
Many people believe that Black Friday is the beginning of the holiday shopping season and Amazon could be in for a rough black Friday weekend experience. Workers have already threatened strikes during the company’s biggest shopping period.
Workers protesting are looking for better pay and a better working environment. They also want the company to be more active in the matters of climate crisis. A group of workers and labor organizations called for a labor strike at various amazon operations going into the weekend, tagged, Make Amazon Pay. Some of the centers targeted are warehouses, factories, and data centers.
Amazon Workers Planned Protest Locations
Participants in the strike already have planned to carry out their strike actions in 20 countries all over the world including the United States of America, India, Germany, Italy, France, and the Netherlands. In the UK amazons warehouses are not unionized therefore workers in the region cannot legally go on strike notes the BBC.
In its demands document, the coalition said, “the pandemic has exposed how amazon places profits ahead of workers, society, and our planet. Amazon takes too much and gives back too little. It is time to make amazon pay.”
The coalition’s demands are split into five parts namely: job security, workplace improvements, sustainable operations, paying back society, and respect for workers’ rights. In the category of workplace improvements, workers want to add hazard pay, boost pay, provide adequate break time, disclosing COVID-19 protocols, and extend paid sick leave.
In the aspect of job security, the coalition wants an end to casual employment and contractors and in the process reinstating employees fired for organizing protests. The aspect of respecting workers’ rights focuses on allowing amazons employees in forming a union and also for the company not to conduct union-busting tactics.
The coalition group also wants the company to embrace climate change initiatives and to also reduce its emissions to zero and also pay its taxes. BBC and Reuters also reported that aside from the actions of making amazon pay, the Extinction Rebellion, an environmental group also blocked the entrance to 13 amazon distribution centers in the UK including its biggest one in the Scottish town of Dunfermline and one each in the Netherlands and Germany.
Amazons Response to the Reported Strikes on Black Friday
The e-commerce giant said that it has made giant strides in providing answers to the demands of the coalition group. In a statement on Wednesday, amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said that “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 in each one of these areas you’ll see that we do take our role and our impact very seriously.”
There has been a similar case in the past where workers had to strike on Black Friday sometime last year. And this was just after Amazon’s sales rose swiftly during the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, workers in Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama voted against forming a union at the facility.