Amazon workers across more than 30 countries launched strikes and protests on Black Friday for the fourth consecutive year. The strikes were organized by the "Make Amazon Pay" campaign, led by UNI Global Union, a federation of service industry unions. The demands of the workers included changes in wages, taxes, the right to unionize, and environmental sustainability.
The strikes were particularly prominent in Europe, with more than 200 workers at a warehouse in England and about 250 workers at a warehouse in Germany participating. In Spain, a one-hour strike was called for all warehouses. In the United States, there was a strike in Palmdale, California, where Amazon drivers have been on strike since June. Another walkout was scheduled in Joliet, Illinois, where workers have been protesting low pay and poor working conditions.
According to an Amazon spokesperson, the concerns raised by the protesters about worker pay, safety, and environmental issues are "false or misinformed." The spokesperson emphasized that Amazon has created millions of jobs and supports hundreds of thousands of small businesses around the world. Amazon also reaffirmed its commitment to becoming net zero carbon by 2040 through measures such as using electric vehicles, renewable-energy-powered facilities, and sustainable packaging materials.
The strikes and protests highlight ongoing tensions between Amazon and its workers regarding labor conditions and the company's impact on the environment. While Amazon asserts that it provides good pay, benefits, and career opportunities, workers argue for higher wages, improved working conditions, and more say in the workplace.
As the 2024 presidential race approaches, the protests also bring attention to the broader issue of workers' rights and the role of large corporations in society. The outcomes of these strikes and protests may have implications for future labor movements and the public perception of Amazon's practices.