For “Black Friday”, Amazon employees on strike

The American e-commerce specialist was affected by a strike in several countries on Friday, November 24, with 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

For “Black Friday”, Amazon employees on strike

The American e-commerce specialist was affected by a strike in several countries on Friday, November 24, with 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, 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 – each time expanding our global movement to stop Amazon from oppressing workers, communities and the planet,” organizers argue on the website in the countryside.

“This day of action grows bigger every year because the movement to hold Amazon accountable continues to grow and strengthen,” responded 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 off the job on Friday, Stuart told Agence France-Presse Richards, spokesperson for the British GMB union. Around 2,300 people work at the Coventry site, according to the union. As it “supplies other warehouses, there is no doubt for us that this strike will have a strong impact” on the deliveries of orders generated by Amazon during Black Friday, said Mr. Richards.

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 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 affirmed that the group “regularly reevaluates its salaries to ensure that [they offer] competitive pay 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 unions, this “Black Friday” could be the biggest day of strike in Amazon’s history. Nevertheless, says an Amazon spokesperson in Germany, “customers can count, as usual, on reliable and punctual deliveries.”

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

In Spain, the protest is planned a little later, with the Workers' Commissions (CCOO) union having called on all Amazon employees in the country to take one-hour work stoppages on November 27, a day of " Cyber ​​Monday,” and November 28. CCOO also denounces “insufficient protection of health at work”, “persistent problems with human resources management” and “salaries which do not recognize the 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,” Amazon argues in an email to AFP.