Amazon warehouse workers in dozens of countries, including the United States, plan to quit their jobs to protest over wages and working conditions on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year .
Work stoppages are planned at multiple warehouses across the country, including Bessemer, Alabama; Columbia, Maryland; Detroit, Michigan; Durham, North Carolina; Garner, North Carolina; Joliet, Ill.; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; and Washington, DC.
There is also a planned work stoppage at several Whole Foods stores. Whole Foods is a subsidiary of Amazon.
Amazon employees and union activists also plan to hold a protest rally outside a New York residence belonging to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, according to CBS News.
The industrial actions are organized on social networks under the hashtag #MakeAmazonPay.
“On Black Friday, in what has already been dubbed #MakeAmazonPay day, unions, civil society and progressive elected officials will stand side by side in a massive global day of action to expose the despicable campaigns of millions of dollars from Amazon to kill the efforts of worker-led unions,” said Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union.
“It’s time for the tech giant to immediately stop its horrific and dangerous practices, uphold the law, and bargain with workers who want to do their jobs better.”
Last month, workers at an Albany plant voted against joining a union. Earlier this year, an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island became the first Amazon-run workplace to unionize.
The company appealed the effort and sought to overturn the vote.
The Post has sought comment from Amazon.
European union activists have also announced planned work stoppages at several distribution centers across the continent.
German union Verdi said work stoppages were planned at 10 warehouses across the country. The French unions SUD and CGT have called for a strike in the country’s eight warehouses.
Verdi demanded that the company recognize collective agreements in the retail and mail order sector and called for a new collective agreement on good working conditions, while French unions called for an increase in a higher cash bonus for the period before Christmas, during which warehouse workers are asked to work a lot of overtime.
“As an employer, Amazon offers attractive pay, benefits and development opportunities, all in an attractive and safe working environment,” an Amazon spokesperson in Germany said in a statement.
Among other things, the spokesperson pointed to a pay rise for Amazon logistics workers in Germany starting in September, with the starting salary now at $13.52 per hour or more, including bonuses.
A spokesperson for Amazon in France said that all warehouse workers earning less than 3,100 euros per month would receive a one-time bonus of 500 euros, in addition to an end-of-year bonus of 150 euros agreed with the syndicate.
On Friday morning, the company said the vast majority of its employees in Germany were working as normal, with strikes limited to nine of its 20 German fulfillment centers.
Amazon France said there had been no signs of disruption to operations so far. Two French union officials said they did not expect a high turnout as the rising cost of living prompted employees to ask for overtime.
“This is the first time that Amazon has organized an international strike day,” said Monika Di Silvestre, Verdi’s representative for Amazon workers.
“This is very important, because a large global company like Amazon cannot be faced alone at the local, regional or national level,” she added.
With pole wires
New York Post