Labor

Strikes and protests in over 35 countries to Make Amazon Pay

Amazon will face strikes in at least 18 warehouses in France and Germany, worker walkouts in the US and protests in over 30 countries around the world in a massive day of action coordinated by the Make Amazon Pay coalition.
This is the third year that Make Amazon Pay, which is co-convened by UNI Global Union and the Progressive International, has organised a global day of action on Black Friday.
This is the third year that Make Amazon Pay, which is co-convened by UNI Global Union and the Progressive International, has organised a global day of action on Black Friday.

On 25 November 2022, Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, Amazon will face strikes in at least 18 warehouses in France and Germany, worker walkouts in the US and protests in over 30 countries around the world in a massive day of action coordinated by the Make Amazon Pay coalition. The campaign charges Amazon with “squeezing every last drop it can” from “workers, communities and the planet” in the face of the cost-of-living scandal, global debt crisis and climate emergency. 

The Make Amazon Pay coalition, which is co-convened by UNI Global Union and the Progressive International, is made up over 80 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.  

This is the third year that Make Amazon Pay has organised a global day of action on Black Friday. Highlights from previous years include: thousands of workers striking at facilities throughout Germany, major workers’ protests in Bangladesh, demonstrations projecting the Make Amazon Pay logo at Amazon headquarters all over the world, projecting “pandemic profiteer” onto Jeff Bezos mansion, and Extinction Rebellion blockading distribution centres in the UK.

Highlights from Make Amazon Pay day 2022 include:

  • In France and Germany, workers will strike in 18 warehouses on strike, organised by trade union ver.di and CGT;
  • In the United States, warehouse workers will stage a walkout, as protests and rallies take place in over 10 cities from coast to coast, including outside Jeff Bezos’ Manhattan penthouse;
  • In India, thousands of workers, street vendors and supporters will rally in over 20 cities including outside parliament in New Delhi;
  • In Japan workers in the recently formed Amazon Workers Union will protest in front of the headquarters of Amazon Japan LLC. in Meguro, Tokyo;
  • In Ireland, environmentalists will protest outside the Amazon HQ in Dublin against tw new planned data centres in the city;
  • In South Africa, the Liesbeek Action Campaign protest Amazon’s new Africa HQ, which is being built on sacred land;
  • In Bangladesh, thousands of garment workers in Amazon’s supply chain will rally and march for union recognition, better pay and conditions and for Amazon to sign the Bangladesh Accord.

Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Unions General Secretary, said:

“Today, unions, civil society and progressive elected officials will stand shoulder to shoulder in a massive global day of action to denounce Amazon’s despicable multimillion dollar campaigns to kill worker-lead union efforts. It’s time for the tech giant to cease their awful, unsafe practices immediately, respect the law and negotiate with the workers who want to make their jobs better.”

Nazma Akhter, President of the Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation, Progressive International council member and IndustriALL executive board member, said:

“Garment workers, like those I represent, toil to swell Amazon’s coffers often without any recognition that we are even Amazon workers. Amazon is the third largest direct employer in the world, but when you take us in the supply chain into account, it is even larger. At work we can face sexual harassment from management and victimisation when we try to organise in a trade union against that violence and for better pay and conditions. 

"In Bangladesh, we are on the frontline of climate breakdown, so we know climate justice and social justice cannot be separated. We have to Make Amazon Pay all its workers a decent wage in dignified workplaces and for its environmental damage.”

Daniel Kopp, the Progressive Internationals Make Amazon Pay coordinator, said:

“We all know that the price of everything is going up, as is the temperature of our planet. Instead of paying its workers fairly, its taxes in full and for its damage to our environment, Amazon is squeezing every last drop it can workers, communities and the planet.

“As workers around the world struggle with the cost of living scandal, Amazon, despite its enormous profits, is forcing real terms pay cuts on its workers. It shirks its taxes and its CO2 emissions are soaring - up 18% in 2021 - even though Amazon only counts the emissions of 1% of its products sold.”

“In the face of the cost of living scandal, global debt crisis and climate emergency, we are coming together to Make Amazon Pay.”

ENDS


Notes to editors

Representing more than 20 million workers in 150 countries, UNI Global Union is  driven by the responsibility to ensure skills and service jobs are decent jobs and that workers’ rights are protected, including the right of union representation and collective bargaining.        

The Progressive International launched in May 2020 with a mission to unite, organise, and mobilise progressive forces around the world. The PI is supported by an advisory Council that includes Noam Chomsky, Aruna Roy, Vijay Prashad, Andres Arauz, Naomi Klein, Yanis Varoufakis, Nazma Akhter, Fernando Haddad, Gustavo Petro, and many others. Members of the PI include social movements, political parties, and trade unions that represent millions of people around the world.

For more information, please visit MakeAmazonPay.com and contact [email protected] and [email protected]

To read the Make Amazon Pay coalition’s 25 Common Demands, please see 

https://cloud.progressive.international/s/W9Td3D592F5NY4x 

To watch the Make Amazon Pay 2020 launch video, please see 

https://twitter.com/ProgIntl/status/1331974742924959755 

Amazon’s emissions rose 18% in 2021

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/01/amazon-says-carbon-emissions-increased-18percent-in-2021.html 

Amazon only tallies emissions for around 1% of online sales https://grist.org/accountability/how-amazon-is-drastically-undercounting-its-carbon-footprint/

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