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Amazon employees in 20 countries will strike on Black Friday for better working conditions as part of global ‘Make Amazon Pay’ campaign

 

Amazon

Employees at Amazon offices around the world are planning to strike on Black Friday to demand better working conditions and accountability from top executives. More than 20 nations are scheduled to protest as part of the “Make Amazon Pay” campaign, which is led by a coalition of 70 trade unions and organizations including Greenpeace, Oxfam, and Amazon Workers International.

According to the campaign, people from “oil refineries, factories, warehouses, data centers, and corporate offices” are anticipated to take part in the November 26 event. “The pandemic has revealed how Amazon prioritizes profits over employees, society, and our planet,” Make Amazon Pay said on their website in a list of demands. “Amazon takes far too much and provides far too little in return. It’s time to start using Amazon Pay.”

The demonstrations came amid rising employee dissatisfaction with Amazon’s working conditions, which include long hours, poor pay, and complicated performance assessment systems. Increased compensation, better job security, and “suspension of the rigorous productivity and surveillance regime Amazon has deployed to squeeze workers” are among Make Amazon Pay’s requests. The coalition also calls for a “payback to society” that includes improved sustainability efforts, increased transparency over data and privacy, and the termination of “institutionally racist” collaborations with police forces and immigration authorities. “Amazon is not alone in these unethical practices,” Make Amazon Pay noted in its demands, “but it lies at the center of a failing system that generates the inequality, climate breakdown, and democratic decline that scare our age.”

Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told Insider in a statement that the company is “inventing and investing significantly” in several of the categories addressed by the campaign, including climate initiatives such as a commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 and efforts to improve competitive wages and benefits. “While we are not perfect in any 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,” Nantel added. Make Amazon Pay’s growth comes amid a tumultuous campaign for unionization across the firm, most recently at an Amazon facility in Staten Island, which filed for a vote last month. The e-commerce behemoth was thrust into the spotlight earlier this year after accusations revealed that it had engaged in union-busting measures that may have derailed a vote at an Alabama warehouse. The Make Amazon Pay campaign also accused Amazon of evading taxes as part of their efforts. Jeff Bezos, the company’s creator, did not pay any income taxes between 2006 and 2018, according to a ProPublica study released in June. With a net worth of $210.7 billion, he is currently the richest person on the planet. Make Amazon Pay said on its website that “during the COVID-19 epidemic, Amazon became a trillion-dollar firm, with Bezos becoming the first person in history to amass $200 billion in personal wealth.” “In the meantime, Amazon warehouse workers put their lives on the line as critical workers, yet they only got a pay raise for a short time.” Make Amazon Pay was founded in 2020 and has since been involved in several strikes and rallies against the company’s policies, notably as the pandemic grew in intensity.

“Amazon’s wealth has grown so much throughout the epidemic that its owners could give all 1.3 million of its employees a $690,000 COVID bonus and still be as wealthy as they were in 2020,” a video on the Make Amazon Pay website claims.

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