On Black Friday, Amazon workers across Europe staged walkouts in protests against the e-commerce giant’s labor practices. The “Make Amazon Pay” campaign coordinated strikes in over 30 countries, with thousands participating. From Germany to the UK, Italy, and Spain, the discontent among Amazon workers underscores ongoing challenges in the company’s treatment of its workforce.
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Amazon Workers Global Protests Against Amazon’s Practices
Amid Black Friday, a traditionally bustling day for retail, Amazon workers voiced their dissatisfaction with the company’s practices. In Germany, an estimated 2,000 workers went on strike across six fulfillment centers. A Rheinberg warehouse saw 500 workers, almost 40% of the workforce, participating, while Leipzig experienced a 20% strike rate with around 250 workers. The “Make Amazon Pay” campaign called for fair wages and better working conditions.
Discontent Spreads Across Europe
The discontent extended to the UK, where over 200 workers at Amazon’s Coventry warehouse participated in a strike over pay disputes. Workers chanted for a pay raise to £15 an hour. In response, Amazon emphasized its minimum starting pay between £11.80 and £13 an hour, set to increase to £12.30 to £13 an hour from April 2024. Amazon assured customers that the strike would not disrupt operations.
International Impact on Amazon Operations
In Italy, more than 60% of workers at the Castel San Giovanni warehouse joined the strike, according to trade union CGIL, while Amazon reported over 86% attendance with no operational impact. Spanish union CCOO called for a one-hour strike on each shift on “Cyber Monday.” In France, anti-globalization organization Attac targeted Amazon parcel lockers, branding Black Friday as a “celebration of overproduction and overconsumption.”