Photo By: 
Sommilito Garment Sramik Federation

Make Amazon Pay

Black Friday protests demand fair pay and conditions

Posted on
Nov 27, 2020

On Black Friday, thousands of Amazon workers from around the world are protesting the company's policies. Find out more below from Business Insider.

As Amazon gears up for one of its biggest shopping days of the year, thousands of people around the world are protesting its facilities.

A coalition of unions, human-rights organizations, and environmentalist groups on Friday launched a global protest of the e-commerce giant called "Make Amazon Pay."

The organizations behind the coalition — including UNI Global Union, Progressive International, Oxfam, and Greenpeace — gave a list of wide-ranging demands including raising warehouse workers' pay and benefits, ending union-busting tactics, and committing to ending Amazon's contracts with fossil-fuel industries.

"During the Covid-19 pandemic, Amazon became a trillion dollar corporation, with Bezos becoming the first person in history to amass $200 billion in personal wealth," their demands statement said. "Meanwhile, Amazon warehouse workers risked their lives as essential workers, and only briefly received an increase in pay." Amazon workers received a $2-per-hour wage increase in March that was then cut in the summer.

Amazon's online sales have skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, and its revenue is projected to soar even higher with the holiday season.

In a statement sent to Business Insider, Make Amazon Pay said there were actions planned for 15 countries: Brazil, Mexico, the US, the UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, Poland, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Australia.

In Germany, Amazon workers in seven warehouses went on strike, while in Bangladesh garment workers protested outside an Amazon supplier facility in Dhaka.

In the UK, the GMB workers' union projected the words "Make Amazon Pay" on the side of Amazon's London headquarters. It also called for a parliamentary investigation into "dehumanising" working conditions in the company's warehouses.

On Thursday, Amazon announced it was giving a total of $500 million in holiday bonuses to its frontline workers, translating to $300 for full-time employees and $150 for part-time employees.

Christy Hoffman, the general secretary of UNI Global Union, told Business Insider that the bonuses did not represent a meaningful change.

"It is great that workers are getting more this holiday season. It is not enough. To show it values its workforce, Amazon should collectively bargain wages and conditions with workers throughout its operations rather than make one-time unilateral gestures of appreciation," Hoffman said.

Sign up for our e-Newsletter!