Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is facing protests and strikes in 20 countries on what is the busiest day of the year for the e-commerce giant.
Protests are being staged at Amazon buildings in Britain, the US and Europe, with workers demanding more pay and changes to working conditions.
Today is Amazon’s big Black Friday sale, which traditionally marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
The ‘Make Amazon Pay’ international coalition of unions, equality and environmental groups is protesting at 13 buildings in the UK, including the largest in Dunfermline, the BBC reported.
Amazon’s warehouses in the UK are not unionised, so staff cannot strike. However, strikes are being encouraged by unions in Germany and France.
In the UK, ‘Make Amazon Pay”s backers include the GMB Union, the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Momentum, War on Want and the International Transport Workers’ Federation.
“Amazon takes too much and gives back too little,” ‘Make Amazon Pay’ said.
It is demanding that Amazon pay workers a living wage, respect their right to join unions, pay its fair share of taxes and make stronger environmental commitments.
“This company is a pandemic profiteer that can afford to do better,” Mick Rix from the GMB Union told the BBC. “It’s time for Amazon sit down with their workers’ union GMB and make Amazon a great, safe place to work. “
In a statement prepared in advance of the protests, Amazon said: “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.
“We are inventing and investing significantly in all these areas, playing a significant role in addressing climate change with the Climate Pledge commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040, continuing to offer competitive wages and great benefits, and inventing new ways to keep our employees safe and healthy in our operations network, to name just a few.”