Employees of online retail giant Amazon from 20 different countries will go on strike on Black Friday.
The coordinated mass industrial action on 26th November is part of the global ‘Make Amazon Pay’ movement, which aims to improve working conditions and demand accountability from top company executives.
The movement, launched in 2020, is made up of a coalition of 70 trade unions and organizations including Greenpeace, Oxfam, and Amazon Workers International.
Among the movement’s demands are that Amazon pays workers a living wage, respect their right to join unions, pay its fair share of taxes, and commit to meaningful environmental sustainability.
“The pandemic has exposed how Amazon places profits ahead of workers, society, and our planet,” Make Amazon Pay wrote on its website.
Workers from the company’s vast supply chain – “from oil refineries, to factories, to warehouses, to data centres, to corporate offices” are expected to take part.
Specific actions include a massive Amazon delivery driver strike in Italy; a work stoppage across Amazon warehouses in France; demonstrations at the construction site of new Amazon regional offices in South Africa; garment worker protests across Bangladesh and Cambodia.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday mark Amazon’s biggest sales events of the year. But according to a 2019 report by the Reveal Center for Investigative Reporting, this is also the period when the number of worker injuries at the company experiences a huge spike. Employees are also subjected to increased quotas and longer workdays.
Germany, whose Amazon warehouses many Maltese people turned to after Brexit, will also be participating. Maltese shoppers are also known to use Amazon Italy and Spain, which means their quest for bargains could be hampered.
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