Amazon sees itself as providing an essential service during the coronavirus pandemic, but staff at its huge network of warehouses are worried they’re being put at risk. Amazon workers in France, Italy, Spain, United States and around the world are taking action, going on strike and going to the courts because they are risking their health and working under incredible pressure to serve their communities and earn a living.
Christy Hoffman, general secretary of the UNI Global Union, talks to BBC World about why workers feel unsafe and what the company must do to protect employees.
“Across the world, Amazon workers are taking action to demand dignity and respect. But, rather than resolving the problem, the richest man on earth is following a take-no-prisoners approach that won’t help workers or his company’s bottom line”, said Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of the international worker’s union UNI Global Union.
“Amazon is failing to keep its workers safe not because it can’t but because it is prioritizing sales over safety, period. What we are seeing in France is that when workers are able to join together in unions and have legal protection against retaliation and dismissals, companies have no option other than to confront their problems.”