UNI Global Union stands in solidarity with Amazon Employees for Climate Justice and the Amazon tech workers around the world taking a paid day off today to protest Amazon poor treatment of employees and activists during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Amazon’s take-no-prisoners approach to dealing with criticism is not new, and workers from around the world trying to organize unions know this well. But in the midst of a crisis of biblical proportions, Bezos should show better judgement and put the health and safety of workers and the public above corporate greed,” said Christy Hoffman General Secretary of UNI Global Union.
The protest comes on the heels of Amazon firing of climate activists Maren Costa and Emily Cunningham, as well as several warehouse workers, for speaking up for safety in the warehouses during this pandemic. Amazon has also censored Amazon Employees for Climate Justice’s attempts to connect warehouse workers and tech workers for open dialog.
In addition to talks from renowned environmental and economic justice advocates, the online event will also put a spotlight on Amazon Employees for Climate Justice’s set of demands to “make it right” with workers who were fired and to improve working conditions at the warehouses.
The action coincides with hundreds of U.S. Amazon warehouse refusing to show up for work earlier in the week in protest to the company’s coronavirus response. Organizers say workers in 50 facilities are participating in the nationwide effort. In support of these workers, Stuart Appelbaum, President of the US-based RWDSU and Chair of the Amazon Union Alliance said that “Amazon continues prioritize maximizing its enormous profits over worker safety—and that is unacceptable.”
Additionally, UNI Global Union’s Amazon Global Alliance issued a call to action this week demanding a that Amazon fix hazardous working conditions and stop its campaign of fear against workers organizing for safe jobs:
“Amazon workers around the world are risking their lives working under incredible pressure to serve their communities and earn a living. But when those four workers chose to stand up and publicly call on Amazon to do better, Amazon chose to fire them.
“Christian Smalls, Bashir Mohamed, Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa are Amazon workers who dared to speak up for their colleagues and for what is right. They are whistle-blowers and leaders, and we honour them for their bravery and solidarity. The Amazon Alliance, comprised of unions from 23 countries, condemns these unjust firings and demands Amazon rehire all our colleagues.
“Amazon cannot fire its way out of this crisis. Workers are taking action to demand dignity and safety, but rather than focusing on resolving these problems, the richest man on earth, a man who is getting richer as this pandemic goes on, refuses to negotiate or hear workers’ demands for a safer workplace.”