Strikes and protests throughout Amazon supply chain across 25 countries on Black Friday
Today, 26 November 2021, Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, Amazon is facing strikes of warehouse workers and delivery drivers in Germany, Italy and France and supportive protests in a further 22 countries around the world, in actions coordinated by the Make Amazon Pay coalition.
The Make Amazon Pay coalition, which is co-convened by UNI Global Union and the Progressive International, is made up over 70 trade unions, civil society organisations, environmentalists and tax watchdogs including UNI Global Union, the Progressive International, Oxfam, Greenpeace, 350.org, Tax Justice Network and Amazon Workers International. The coalition demands Amazon pays its workers fairly and respects their right to join unions, pays its fair share of taxes and commits to real environmental sustainability.
Make Amazon Pay was launched a year ago as 50 organisations came together to deliver a set of Common Demands on the two trillion dollar company, holding strikes and protests in 16 countries around the world on 27 November 2020. This year’s actions are much larger with strikes and protests taking place in multiple cities in at least 25 countries across every inhabited continent on earth. The global day of action will bring together activists from different struggles - labour, environment, tax, data, privacy, anti-monopoly - as trade unionists, civil society activists and environmentalists hold joint actions. Members of the public can add their name to the Common Demands, donate to the campaign and find an action near them to join on Black Friday at MakeAmazonPay.com.
Highlights from Make Amazon Pay day include:
- In Germany, warehouse workers on strike, organised by trade union ver.di, and launch in Berlin of new group Amazon Workers against Surveillance, a coalition of Amazon warehouse and tech workers;
- In Italy Amazon caved into CGIL demands, representing thousands of drivers, who were set to strike on Friday;
- In France, warehouse workers on strike, organised by trade unions Sud Solidaires and CGT, and action by Amis de La Terre in Nantes to celebrate activist victory in stopped Amazon warehouse construction;
- In Canada, activists organised by the Warehouse Workers’ Centre and Niki Ashton MP will protest outside an Amazon warehouse in Brampton, Ontario;
- In Cambodia, garment workers in Amazon’s supply chain will protest outside their shuttered factory in Phnom Penh demanding the $3.6 million severance payments they are owned;
- In the UK, workers and activists protest outside Amazon’s London headquarters;
- In Belgium, workers and activists protest outside the European Parliament in Brussels;
- In the Netherlands, trade union FNV protest at the Alblasserdam shipyard where Jeff Bezos’ mega yacht is under construction;
- In Bangladesh, the garment workers union protest outside two factories, one in Chittagong, one in Dhaka;
- In Austria, activists in Graz protest against the construction of major Amazon facility;
- In the USA, workers and activists protest at a New York City warehouse and workers and activists organised by the Warehouse Worker Resource Center and Athena hold a worker tribunal in Ontario, California;
- In Poland, warehouse workers organised by Amazon Workers International protest outside a Poznan warehouse and Ozzip protest in Warsaw against the sacking of a shop steward;
- In Argentina, environmentalists and civic activists protest at the Axion oil refinery, which runs on Amazon Web Services;
- In South Africa, activists from the Liesbeek Action Campaign protest the construction of Amazon’s regional headquarters on land and water sacred to the Khoisan people, the indigenous people of the region;
- In Australia, workers and activists protest in Sydney;
- In India, the Hawkers Action Committee, representing small businesses and traders, will hold protests in New Delhi, Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Bangalore and Thane;
- In Slovakia, workers and activists with protest warehouse working conditions;
- In Spain, environmentalist groups protest in Barcelona against Amazon’s drive towards climate disaster;
- In Brazil, dockers, a group crucial to Amazon's global logistics empire, protest in solidarity with their fellow workers everywhere;
- In Turkey, workers and activists organised by DISK trade union protest outside a regional headquarters in Istanbul; Tez Koop-Is Union also organised a separate protest outside the regional headquarters of Amazon in Istanbul;
- In Colombia, workers and activists protest at a call centre recently opened by Amazon.
Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union’s General Secretary, said:
“Around the world workers are taking action to demand dignity and respect at Amazon. When workers join together in unions they are unstoppable--the significant gains that Italian drivers and couriers made this week are just the latest example of this. Today we are standing with our allies to Make Amazon Pay. Together, we can reign in the power of Amazon and strengthen our democracies.”
Casper Gelderblom, Make Amazon Pay coordinator at the Progressive International, said:
“Today’s actions show the scale of resistance to Amazon’s exploitation at every link in its chain of abuse. Workers throughout the supply chain are demanding what’s rightfully theirs when even Jeff Bezos admits their labor paid for his recent joy ride to space. From Amazon’s fulfillment centers to its tech hubs, and from garment factories to call centers, workers are joining forces with activist allies to demand justice from a corporation that takes too much and gives too little.”
“Last year, our coalition launched its fight against Amazon’s shocking tax abuse, soaring pollution, and shameless mistreatment of the very people who produce the corporation’s wealth. This year, our strikes and protests stretch across all six inhabited continents. But we are only just beginning. We will continue to raise our voices even louder to Make Amazon Pay.”