On 25 November 2022, Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, Amazon will face strikes in at least 18 warehouses in France and Germany, worker walkouts in the US and protests in over 30 countries around the world in a massive day of action coordinated by the Make Amazon Pay coalition. The campaign charges Amazon with “squeezing every last drop it can” from “workers, communities and the planet” in the face of the cost-of-living scandal, global debt crisis and climate emergency.
The Make Amazon Pay coalition, which is co-convened by UNI Global Union and the Progressive International, is made up over 80 trade unions, civil society organizations, environmentalists and tax watchdogs including UNI Global Union, the Progressive International, Oxfam, Greenpeace, 350.org, Tax Justice Network and Amazon Workers International. The coalition demands Amazon pays its workers fairly and respects their right to join unions, pays its fair share of taxes and commits to real environmental sustainability.
This is the third year that Make Amazon Pay has organized a global day of action on Black Friday. Highlights from previous years include: thousands of workers striking at facilities throughout Germany, major workers’ protests in Bangladesh, demonstrations projecting the Make Amazon Pay logo at Amazon headquarters all over the world, projecting “pandemic profiteer” onto Jeff Bezos mansion, and Extinction Rebellion blockading distribution centres in the UK.
Highlights from Make Amazon Pay day 2022 include:
Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union’s General Secretary, said:
“Today, unions, civil society and progressive elected officials will stand shoulder to shoulder in a massive global day of action to denounce Amazon’s despicable multimillion dollar campaigns to kill worker-lead union efforts. It’s time for the tech giant to cease their awful, unsafe practices immediately, respect the law and negotiate with the workers who want to make their jobs better.”
Nazma Akhter, President of the Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation, Progressive International council member and IndustriALL executive board member, said:
“Garment workers, like those I represent, toil to swell Amazon’s coffers often without any recognition that we are even Amazon workers. Amazon is the third largest direct employer in the world, but when you take us in the supply chain into account, it is even larger. At work we can face sexual harassment from management and victimization when we try to organize in a trade union against that violence and for better pay and conditions.
“In Bangladesh, we are on the frontline of climate breakdown, so we know climate justice and social justice cannot be separated. We have to Make Amazon Pay all its workers a decent wage in dignified workplaces and for its environmental damage.”
Daniel Kopp, the Progressive International’s Make Amazon Pay coordinator, said:
“We all know that the price of everything is going up, as is the temperature of our planet. Instead of paying its workers fairly, its taxes in full and for its damage to our environment, Amazon is squeezing every last drop it can workers, communities and the planet.
“As workers around the world struggle with the cost-of-living scandal, Amazon, despite its enormous profits, is forcing real terms pay cuts on its workers. It shirks its taxes and its CO2 emissions are soaring – up 18% in 2021 – even though Amazon only counts the emissions of 1% of its products sold.”
“In the face of the cost-of-living scandal, global debt crisis and climate emergency, we are coming together to Make Amazon Pay.”