Amazon Workers Strike In Europe On Black Friday

Amazon workers are striking and protesting across 30 countries.

An Amazon package on a desktop.
(Image credit: Future)

Amazon is facing strikes and protests across 30 countries in a push for higher wages and other policy changes as shoppers are searching for Black Friday discounts.

The Make Amazon Pay campaign is a joint effort between more than 80 unions and organizations, including UNI Global Union, Progressive International and Amazon Workers International. The coalition is seeking several changes to Amazon’s policies, including higher wages for all warehouse workers, increased job security, the right to unionize, committing to zero emissions by 2030, and paying its taxes in full rather than using techniques such as "profit shifting, loopholes and the use of tax havens" to lower its tax bill.

While Amazon is facing action from workers around the globe Friday, it is not expected to affect deliveries of Black Friday orders, an Amazon spokesperson told Reuters.

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What Amazon workers are protesting

The demonstrations span 30 countries and include strikes in the U.S., U.K., Spain and Germany; climate activism in Japan, Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Italy, United Kingdom and Canada; rallies and protests in 10 Indian cities; and a “mass action” in Bangladesh, according to the coalition.

They are "a worldwide declaration that this age of abuse must end," Varsha Gandikota-Nellutla, co-general coordinator of the Progressive International, said in a statement. “Amazon’s globe-spanning empire, which exploits workers, our communities and our planet, now faces a growing globe-spanning movement to Make Amazon Pay.”

UNI Global cites a recent report by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) to support the Coalition's action, which said Amazon’s warehouse employees' pay “lags well behind” other warehouse employers.

"Unfortunately, Amazon is unlikely to prioritize fair pay unless it is pushed to do so, which is why workers’ efforts to organize unions at Amazon are so important to building a good-jobs economy and advancing racial equity in the U.S," Irene Tung, a senior researcher and policy analyst at NELP, said in a statement.

For its part, Amazon says it "has created millions of good jobs, while helping create and support hundreds of thousands of small businesses around the world," a spokesperson told Kiplinger in an email, adding that the company offers "great" pay, benefits and career opportunities in "a modern and safe working environment."

"We continue to invest in the countries and communities where we operate, and we’re proud to be the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy," the spokesperson said. "That’s part of our drive to be net zero carbon by 2040, with billions already invested in packaging reduction, clean energy and electric vehicles.”

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Joey Solitro

Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.