Amazon workers plan Black Friday strike

Black Friday can be a quiet day at Amazon department stores

Black Friday can be a quiet day at Amazon department stores.

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Amazon might have a tough Black Friday. Employees of the online retail giant want better pay and improvements in the workplace, and that the company must be more proactive in relation to topics such as the climate crisis, otherwise they will strike on the biggest shopping day of the year.

Make Amazon Pay is a coalition of workers and labor organizations calling for a strike by Amazon employees across the company’s operations, such as data centers, factories and department stores. They plan to organize the strike for Black Friday in 20 countries, including India, Germany and the United States.

“The pandemic has revealed how Amazon places profit ahead of workers, society and our planet,” the coalition said in its claims document. “Amazon takes too much and gives too little back. It’s time to get Amazon to pay.”

The group’s demands are divided into five categories: improvements in the workplace, job security, respect for workers’ rights, sustainable operation and community repayment. Improvements in the workplace include salary improvement, added risk pay, appropriate breaks, extension of paid sick leave, and disclosure of COVID-19 protocols.

For the sake of job security, the group wants to end forms of casual employment and contractors while re-employment of employees fired for organizing protests. Respecting workers’ rights focuses primarily on allowing employees to form a union, and that Amazon does not carry out union-breaking tactics. The group also urges the retail giant to recognize climate change, reduce emissions to zero and pay its taxes.

Amazon says it has already come a long way with these requirements.

“These groups represent a variety of interests, and although we are not perfect in any area, if you look objectively at what Amazon is doing in each of these areas, you will see that we take our role and our influence very seriously,” said Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel in a statement Wednesday.

Last year, there was a similar call for one workers’ strike on Black Friday after Amazon’s sales rose sharply during the COVID pandemic.

In April, Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, voted against forming a trade union at that facility.

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