Amazon shrugs off boycott ahead of Prime Day
Amazon is shrugging off boycotts and protests by its workers in Europe hours ahead of its biggest shopping event of the year.
The company’s fourth annual Prime Day is expected to kick off Monday at 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT), but it’s being overshadowed by protests from upset Amazon employees from all across Europe, including Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Poland and England, who are fed up with how they are being treated by the e-commerce giant.
Workers’ complaints include poor wages, tough working conditions and a lack of good benefits.
In response to the protests and the hashtags #amazonboycott #amazonstrike on Twitter, Lori Torgerson, a spokeswoman for the company, told FOX Business that while they couldn’t pull off a major event like this without their associates, which includes more than 500,000 globally, they are solely focused on serving its members right now.
“We gear up all day long for Prime Day, so we are here to serve customers and of course we couldn’t do it without our associates all around the globe. So, we are all working hard to make sure that we are serving customers this Prime Day and throughout the year,” she said.
In May, a group called the Transnational Social Strike Platform first called out to all Amazon workers in Europe to join in on their strike ahead of Prime Day.
“The struggles against the abuses of the multinational company Amazon and for the distribution of its benefits are spreading throughout Europe. In spite of the company’s strategy to open new centers in countries that are ‘quieter’ from the point of view of trade unionism, the tough working conditions it enforces are driving more and more workers to rebel against them,” the group said in a statement.
In Poland, workers say the company is using hard anti-strike laws to impose “miserable salaries,” while Germans say they are struggling for a “collective agreement guaranteeing the rights of all workers independently of their center.” Yet, Italians’ biggest gripe is fixed-term contracts, making it hard for employees to get full-time work and benefits.
“In the rest of the world Amazon is making history, but hardly distributes its millions in profits,” the union group added.
Amazon has previously said that it doesn’t recognize “these allegations as an accurate portrayal of activities in our buildings.”
While Amazon would not disclose revenue from previous Prime Days or estimates from this year’s event, retail think tank Coresight Research has predicted the retail giant’s sales could reach $3.4 billion this year. To date, Amazon has more than 100 million Prime members around the world.