Amazon is preparing to face new fights with unions this week, as its staff around the world prepare to demonstrate against the company on one of the busiest days of the calendar year.
The coordinated action, part of a movement called “Make Amazon Pay”, has been organized by 80 unions, environmental activism groups, tax watchdogs and other organisations, and will see strikes and protests in some 40 countries.
The coalition demands that Amazon “pay its workers fairly and respect their right to join unions, pay its fair share of taxes, and commit to real environmental sustainability.”
Announcing on Thursday that its members would hold strikes and protests on Black Friday (November 25), the group accused the tech giant of “squeezing every last drop out of workers, communities and the planet.”
Workers from France, Germany, the US, India and Japan will hold walkouts, walkouts and protests, while activists from Ireland and South Africa will hold demonstrations at Amazon headquarters in their respective countries. Other actions will also take place in additional countries.
“As workers around the world struggle with the cost-of-living scandal, Amazon, despite its huge profits, is forcing its workers to take real-term pay cuts,” said Daniel Kopp, one of Make’s coordinators. Amazon Pay in a statement on Thursday.
“Dodge your taxes and your CO2 emissions skyrocket. In the face of the cost of living scandal, the global debt crisis and the climate emergency, we are coming together to make Amazon pay.”
Nazma Akhter, president of Bangladesh’s Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation, which represents garment workers in Amazon’s supply chain and will march on Black Friday for union recognition, higher wages and better conditions, said Thursday that workers Members of the organization “work to add to Amazon’s coffers often without recognition that we are even Amazon workers.”
He added that Bangladesh was “on the front lines of climate breakdown” and wanted Amazon to pay all its workers a decent wage and take responsibility for the environmental damage it caused.
‘We’re not perfect,’ says Amazon
An Amazon spokesperson said Fortune on Thursday that it was working to address issues raised by Make Amazon Pay, which the company says “represents a variety of interests.”
“While we’re not perfect in any area, if you look objectively at what Amazon is doing on these important issues, you’ll see that we take our role and impact very seriously,” they said.
“We are inventing and investing significantly in all these areas, playing an important role in tackling 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 network of operations, to name just a few.”
The spokesperson added that “anyone can see [this] for themselves by taking a tour at one of our sites.”
Make Amazon Pay’s plans for Black Friday are the latest in a series of events that show growing discontent among the company’s workers.
Amazon, like other major corporations including Starbucks, Apple and Google, has been grappling this year with the unionization of some of its American workers.
Meanwhile, Amazon’s Japanese drivers have unionized to revolt against unrealistic AI delivery routes that fail to account for rivers, train tracks, or narrow roads.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which fall on November 28 this year, are the busiest dates in the retail year, with Amazon posting a Record Black Friday sale in 2021.
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