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Amazon faces Black Friday strikes in some regions – CNET

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Black Friday could be a quiet day at Amazon warehouses

Black Friday could be a quiet day at Amazon warehouses in some countries.


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Amazon could be in for a rough Black Friday weekend. Workers for the online retail giant want better pay and improvements to the workplace, and for the company to be more proactive on issues such as the climate crisis, or else they’ll strike during the year’s biggest shopping period

Make Amazon Pay is a coalition of workers and labor organizations calling for a labor strike by Amazon employees across the company’s operations, such as data centers, factories and warehouses. They planned a work stoppage for Black Friday in 20 countries including India, Germany, the Netherlands, France and the US. Amazon’s UK warehouses aren’t unionized, the BBC noted, so workers there can’t legally strike.

“The pandemic has exposed how Amazon places profits ahead of workers, society, and our planet,” the coalition said in its demands document. “Amazon takes too much and gives back too little. It is time to Make Amazon Pay.”

The group’s demands are split into five categories: workplace improvements, job security, respect for workers’ rights, sustainable operations and paying back society. Workplace improvements include improving pay, adding hazard pay, providing adequate break time, extending paid sick leave and disclosing COVID-19 protocols. 

For job security, the group wants the end of forms of casual employment and contractors while reinstating employees fired for organizing protests. Respecting workers’ rights focuses primarily on allowing employees to form a union and for Amazon to not conduct union-busting tactics. The group also calls for the retail giant to acknowledge climate change, to reduce emissions to zero and to pay its taxes. 

Separately from Make Amazon Pay’s actions, environmental group Extinction Rebellion blocked the entrances to several UK Amazon distribution centers, the BBC reported, including its largest one in the Scottish town of Dunfermline.

Amazon says it’s already made headway on these demands. 

“These groups represent a variety of interests, and while we are not perfect in any area, if you objectively look at what Amazon is doing in each one of these areas you’ll see that we do take our role and our impact very seriously,” Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in a statement Wednesday. 

Last year, there was a similar call for a workers’ strike on Black Friday after Amazon’s sales rose sharply during the COVID pandemic. 

In April, Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, voted against forming a union at that facility.

Extinction Rebellion didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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