Amazon workers in the US and 30 other countries are planning Black Friday protests

Amazon workers and labor activists in nearly 30 countries, including the US, are planning to walk off the job and hold other protests on Friday to demand better pay and working conditions.

campaign, which the group is promoting on Twitter under the hashtag #makeamazonpayIt’s timed to coincide with Black Friday, a key shopping day for Amazon and other retailers.

As part of the protest, Amazon workers at a company warehouse in St. Peters, Missouri, plan to stop work Friday, according to Athena, a coalition of local and national groups that advocates for e-commerce. The commerce giant is pressing for labor rights.

Labor action is also planned at Amazon-owned Whole Foods stores and at other locations in Bessemer, Alabama; Columbia, Maryland; Detroit, Michigan; Durham, North Carolina; Garner, North Carolina; Joliet, Illinois; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; and Washington, DC

Athena said Amazon workers and activists would rally in front of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ residence in New York City on Friday.

“On Black Friday, already named #MakeAmazonPay Day, unions, civil society and progressive elected officials stand shoulder to shoulder in a massive global day of action to kill worker-led union efforts to kill Amazon’s hateful multimillion Dollar’s campaigns,” said Christy Hoffman, general secretary of UNI Global Union, a group leading the protests, in a statement. “It’s time for the tech giants to stop their terrible, unsafe practices immediately, respect the law, and negotiate with workers who want to improve their jobs.”

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

global protest

According to UNI Global Union, the countries where Amazon will face strikes and protests are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, Turkey and UK

Monica Di Silvestre, an official with Ver.di, a German labor group that helped organize the #MakeAmazonPay campaign, told Bloomberg that workers are particularly concerned about Amazon’s use of computers to monitor their productivity.

“Workers are under a lot of pressure with these algorithms,” she said. “It doesn’t differentiate between workers, whether they are old or have limited mobility. Workers lie awake at night thinking only about their productivity figures.”

Nearly half of all injuries reported in US warehouses in 2021 happened on amazonA coalition of unions, according to the Center for Strategic Planning.

According to the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC) report, “Amazon employed one-third of all warehouse workers in the US, but it was responsible for nearly half (49%) of all injuries in the warehouse industry.”

Amazon has previously defended its safety record and denied that the company’s warehouses have high injury rates.

Union vs Amazon: The Story of David and Goliath


Company to US has faced increasing pressure from workers wanting to unionize. Earlier this year, a warehouse on Staten Island in New York City became the first Amazon fulfillment center to host, and other facilities have also filed for collective bargaining rights. Recently, workers at an Amazon warehouse in upstate New York voted against unionization,

A federal judge last week ordered Amazon to stop retaliating against employees who participate in workplace activism. The ruling came in a court case brought by the National Labor Relations Board, which sued Amazon in March seeking reinstatement of a dismissed employee involved in organizing the company’s Staten Island warehouse.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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