HomeTechnologyAmazon workers in 30 other countries protest on Black Friday

Amazon workers in 30 other countries protest on Black Friday

Amazon workers and activists in 30 countries marked the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season with a series of strikes and protests to demand better wages and working conditions.

In Manhattan, Amazon activists, unions and workers marched outside the penthouse of company founder Jeff Bezos in Tony Flatiron’s district.

On the outskirts of St. Louis, a few dozen workers walked out of STL8’s massive facility on Friday afternoon. It’s the second wildcat strike at the 900,000-square-foot logistics center, where workers also picketed September to protest against working conditions and wages. Workers at the site are asking for a $10-an-hour raise, saying that improving working conditions are leading to too many workers being injured on the job.

The groups involved in the campaign promote it on Twitter under the hashtag #MakeAmazonPay. They have a range of demands. Many are calling for wage increases, an end to worker surveillance, and a pace of work that leads to an above-average rate of workplace injuries.

Labor actions are also planned at Amazon-owned Whole Foods stores and other locations in Bessemer, Alabama; Columbia, Maryland; Detroit, Mich.; Durham, North Carolina; Garner, North Carolina; Joliet, Ill.; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; and Washington, D.C.

In Germany, workers demonstrated at nine of Amazon’s 20 warehouses in the country, the company said. Reutersalthough he said the “vast majority” of employees reported to work as usual.

In Coventry, England, workers demonstrated outside an Amazon facility at night, saying: “We are not robots.”

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, some activists demonstrated in front of the National Congress building with signs that read “Make Amazon pay.”

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment on the actions.

“On Black Friday, in what has already been dubbed #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 multi-billion dollar campaigns to end with worker-led union efforts. Christy Hoffman, general secretary of UNI Global Union, a group leading the protests, said in a statement. “It is time for the tech giant to immediately cease its horrible and unsafe practices, respect the law and negotiate with workers who want to improve their jobs.

world protest

Among the countries where Amazon is facing strikes and protests, according to UNI: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa , Turkey and the United Kingdom

Monika di Silvestre, an official with Ver.di, a German labor group that helps organize the #MakeAmazonPay campaign, said Bloomberg that workers are particularly concerned about Amazon’s use of computers to monitor their productivity.

“Workers are under a lot of pressure with these algorithms,” he said. “It doesn’t differentiate between workers, whether they are elderly or have limited mobility. Workers stay up at night thinking only about their productivity statistics.”

Nearly Half of All Warehouse Injuries in the US in 2021 it happened on amazonaccording to the Center for Strategic Organizing, a coalition of unions.

“Amazon employed a third of all warehouse workers in the US, but was responsible for nearly half (49%) of all injuries in the warehouse industry,” according to the SOC report.

Amazon has previously defended its safety record and denied that injury rates are higher in the company’s warehouses.

Labor Unions vs. Amazons: A David and Goliath Story


The company has faced increasing pressure in the US from workers seeking to unionize. Earlier this year, a warehouse on Staten Island in New York City became the first Amazon fulfillment center to organize, and other facilities have also applied for collective bargaining rights. Most recently, workers at an Amazon warehouse in upstate New York voted against unionizing.

Last week, a federal judge ordered Amazon to stop retaliating against employees who engage in activism in the workplace. The ruling came in a court case brought by the National Labor Relations Board, which sued Amazon in March seeking reinstatement of a fired employee who was involved in organizing the company’s Staten Island warehouse.

—Irina Ivanova of CBS News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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