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Friday, March 31, 2023

Protesters Decend on Amazon Buildings on Black Friday

On Black Friday, protests are taking place at Amazon locations in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Europe.

The day of the shopping sales is one of Amazon’s busiest of the year.

“Make Amazon Pay,” a multinational alliance of labor, equality, and environmental organizations, is holding a day of protest to demand concessions.

Meanwhile, the environmental organization Extinction Rebellion has targeted Amazon distribution centers in the United Kingdom, blocking doors and access roads.

According to reports on the ground, the mob has blocked Amazon centers in Tilbury, Essex, and Avonmouth, near Bristol. It also claims to be planning actions in Manchester, Newcastle, and Germany and the Netherlands.

It claims to have blockaded 15 facilities, 13 of which are in the United Kingdom.

“Black Friday exemplifies a fixation with over-consumption that is incompatible with a livable world,” the organization claimed.

“Amazon and other firms have profited from our need for convenience and fueled unbridled consumption at the price of the environment.”

The Make Amazon Pay alliance is not linked with the Extinction Rebellion movement, although it does include environmental organizations such as Greenpeace.

“Amazon takes too much and contributes too little,” it alleges, with support from trade unions, grassroots initiatives, and non-profit organizations in many nations.

Because no Amazon warehouses in the United Kingdom are unionized, workers are unable to strike.

Many Amazon employees will be working on the day, but campaign organizations, including Amazon employees, are planning protests outside the company’s offices in Coalville, Leicestershire, Coventry, Peterborough, and London.

Strikes, on the other hand, are encouraged in some places.

In Germany, for example, the Verdi union has called for a walkout to begin on Wednesday night at major shipping centers. In France, the CGT, a prominent labor union, is also asking on workers to stop working.

“Amazon’s expanding dominance is a danger to communities and employees throughout the world,” said Owen Espley of the War on Want advocacy organization.

“Amazon is exploiting its dominance in online shopping, cloud services, and logistics to drive down standards for everyone.”

“Amazon employees labor in hazardous circumstances, are constantly monitored, and are treated like robots.

“It’s past time for Amazon to pay fair wages, pay fair taxes, and account for its environmental effect.”

The GMB Union’s Mick Rix stated, “This corporation is a huge profiteer and can afford to do better.” “It’s time for Amazon to sit down with the GMB, their employees’ union, and work together to make Amazon a terrific, safe place to work.”

Amazon’s earnings more than tripled earlier this year, thanks to its success during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The corporation has also been accused of being anti-union in its activities, especially in the United States.

A historic attempt to unionize a business in Bessemer, Alabama, failed earlier this year, but the firm was investigated by a US regulator on allegations that it manipulated employees during the ballot.

In preparation of the protests, Amazon produced a prepared statement about the larger Make Amazon Pay movement.

“While we are not perfect in every area, if you objectively look at what Amazon is doing in each of these areas, you’ll see that we do take our position and influence very seriously,” the statement added.

“To name a few, we’re inventing and investing heavily in all of these areas, including playing a significant role in addressing climate change with our 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.”

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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