In an upsurge of international solidarity, Amazon workers from Italy, Germany and the U.S. will be joining GMB strikers in Coventry, U.K., this Black Friday – widely called Make Amazon Pay Day – to underscore the urgent need for Amazon to address its egregious labour practices and engage in fair bargaining.
In addition to Coventry, Amazon workers will be on strike in Italy, and the U.S., as well as join allies in protests in over 30 countries around the world on 24 November. This is part of a massive day of action billed as ‘Make Amazon Pay‘.
“This day of action grows every year because the movement to hold Amazon accountable keeps getting bigger and stronger. Workers know that it doesn’t matter what country you’re in or what your job title is, we are all united in the fight for higher wages, an end to unreasonable quotas, and a voice on the job,” said Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union. “That’s what workers in Coventry are striking for, and that is why workers around the world are standing up to Make Amazon Pay.”
More than 1,000 Amazon workers in the U.K. plan to strike on Black Friday, as they also have done on 7, 8 and 9 of November. The GMB union has criticized the retail giant for its recent pay offer of just £1 per hour, made last month, after Amazon spent millions fighting their own workers over union rights at the company.
“Amazon has lost nearly thirty days to strike action in the UK this year alone.
“Despite that, Amazon bosses are desperate to claim it will be business as usual for Amazon and Amazon customers this Black Friday,” said Amanda Gearing, GMB Organiser. “The truth is that this Black Friday will see the largest day of industrial disruption in Amazon’s thirty-year history.Coventry is the beating heart of Amazon’s distribution network; strike action on Black Friday will ripple throughout the company’s UK logistics.”
“With industrial action escalating and workers joining strike action in Europe and the USA, it’s clear that Coventry workers are inspiring Amazon workers worldwide to fight for their share of company profits. “As a union representing thousands of Amazon workers, we can no longer in good faith watch as our members walk into unsafe workplaces and ensure poverty pay.
“This is an unprecedented and historic moment, with low paid workers taking on one of the world’s most powerful corporations”.
“Every day, we face the same challenges in our Amazon warehouse – low wages, high stress, and a lack of respect for our rights. Joining this Global Day of Action is not just about us in Germany, but about standing together with our colleagues worldwide to demand fair treatment. We want Amazon to hear us loud and clear: it’s time to make changes for the better,” said Rainer Reising, Amazon workers from Germany.
“In Italy, we’re used to standing up for our rights, and this time it’s no different. Working at Amazon has shown us the need for a united front to fight for fair wages and safe working conditions. This strike on Black Friday is more than a protest; it’s a message that we’re all in this together, across borders, fighting for what we deserve.” Giampaolo Meloni, a member of the Italian trade union federation Filcams CGIL who works at the most important Amazon warehouse in Italy, Castel San Giovanni in the Emilia-Romagna region.
“Amazon workers are taking action around the globe to fight for the good jobs we deserve. In the U.S., my Teamster siblings and I are on strike against Amazon’s unfair labor practices. We have taken our picket line across the country and now we’re joining our colleagues from around the world to demand respect, fair wages, and a workplace where our health and safety are a priority. Amazon is no match for the power of its workers united,” said Jessie Moreno, Amazon Teamsters member from Local 396 in California.
Since April 2013, Amazon workers in the U.S., U.K., India, Spain, Germany, Italy, and beyond have walked off the job and held massive workplace actions dozens of times. The protests intensified after the pandemic as Amazon failed to listen to workers’ demands to make their workplace safer even as the company’s profits were skyrocketing.
“This global action underscores the urgent need for Amazon to address its egregious labour practices and engage in fair bargaining with its workers,” said Stuart Appelbaum President of RWDSU. “Our collective actions are gaining momentum, challenging Amazon’s unfair practices and advocating for workers’ rights and a sustainable future for all. Together, we can Make Amazon Pay.”
These actions reflect the widespread criticism of Amazon’s corporate practices. According to a comprehensive 2023 UNI Global Union survey, Amazon’s intense performance monitoring has inflicted stress, pressure, anxiety, and a sense of mistrust among its employees across eight key countries. The survey reveals alarming statistics: 51% of employees report adverse health effects, and 57% cite deteriorating mental health due to Amazon’s intrusive monitoring. This has led to increasing scrutiny from lawmakers and the public, with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and the U.S. Health and Safety administration investigating the company’s “abysmal safety record.”