For “Black Friday”, Amazon employees on strike

Protesters outside Amazon headquarters in London for “Black Friday”, November 24, 2023

The American e-commerce specialist was affected by a strike in several countries on Friday November 24, its employees demanding better working conditions, in the middle of “Black Friday”, a day of sales that has become one of the highlights of commerce each year .

Amazon employees in around thirty countries, including France, the United States and Japan, were called to protest, at the initiative of the “Make Amazon pay” campaign. [faites payer Amazon]which brings together some 80 organizations and demands better conditions and remuneration for the group’s employees.

“Since 2020, we have organized four global days of action which have each time allowed us to expand our global movement to prevent Amazon from oppressing workers, communities and the planet”argue the organizers on the campaign website.

“This day of action grows bigger every year because the movement to hold Amazon accountable continues to grow and strengthen.”reacted the international union federation UNI Global Union, in a press release.

A crucial day for traders

“Black Friday” (the Friday of promotions after the American Thanksgiving holiday), which originated in the United States before being exported to many countries, has become a crucial moment for retailers.

However, in the United Kingdom, on the vast Amazon site in Coventry (about 150 km northwest of London), “more than 1,000 people” walked out on Friday, Stuart Richards, spokesperson for the British GMB union, told Agence France-Presse. Around 2,300 people work at the Coventry site, according to the union. Like him “supplies other warehouses, there is no doubt for us that this strike will have a strong impact” on order deliveries generated by Amazon during Black Friday, Mr. Richards estimated.

If the social movement led by GMB for almost a year has led “Amazon to offer salary increases” to a large number of employees, this however remains lower than the demands of the strikers, who want remuneration of 15 pounds (17.20 euros) per hour compared to around 12 pounds obtained so far, says the union.

Contacted by AFP, an Amazon spokesperson in the United Kingdom for his part affirmed that the group “regularly re-evaluated his salaries to ensure that[ils offraient] competitive salaries and benefits in kind ».

No sites affected in France

In Germany, the movement, launched at the call of the Verdi union, concerns five warehouses out of the twenty operated by Amazon in the country, in Leipzig, Rheinberg, Dortmund, Bad Hersfeld and Koblenz. According to the unions, this “Black Friday” could be the biggest day of strike in Amazon history. However, says an Amazon spokesperson in Germany, “customers can count, as usual, on reliable and punctual deliveries”.

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Italy was also concerned. Workers at the Amazon center in Piacenza, near Milan, joined the strike, with the Filcams CGIL union citing in a press release a “very strong participation”.

In Spain, the protest is planned a little later, the Workers’ Commissions union (CCOO) having called on all Amazon employees in the country to take one-hour work stoppages on November 27, a day of ” Cyber ​​Monday” (Internet Monday), and November 28. CCOO also denounces “insufficient health protection at work”of the “persistent human resource management problems” and “wages that do not recognize responsibilities or requirements set by the company”.

In France, no site was affected, according to Amazon France. More generally, a spokesperson for the group estimated that the movement had no impact on customers on a global scale. “We offer excellent salaries and benefits to our employees, as well as excellent career opportunities, and provide a safe and modern work environment”argues Amazon in an email to AFP.

The World with AFP

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