Amazon workers across the world protest on Black Friday
#MakeAmazonPay demonstrations span over 15 countries
Amazon workers across the globe have banded together in a series of coordinated Black Friday protests over workers' rights and environmental justice.
Using the hashtag #MakeAmazonPay, employees in 15 countries, including the U.S., Europe, Mexico and Bangladesh, are calling on the e-commerce giant to raise wages, end union-busting, stop circumventing tax laws, rehire workers fired after they complained about workplace safety and pledge to reach zero emissions by the year 2030.
AMAZON TO GIVE $500M IN SPECIAL HOLIDAY BONUSES TO FRONT-LINE EMPLOYEES
The strikes coincide with one of the retailer's biggest sales events of the year, and a statement sent to Amazon by 39 organizations called out the trillion-dollar corporation's founder Jeff Bezos for his personal wealth.
They said that while Bezos' bank account was overflowing, Amazon warehouse workers were risking their lives.
"Like all major corporations, Amazon’s success would be impossible without the public institutions that citizens built together over generations," the statement reads. "But instead of giving back to the societies that helped it grow, the corporation starves them of tax revenue through its world-beating efforts at tax dodging."
Some 50 social justice organizations, including Greenpeace, OxFam and Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, backed the initiative.
Thousands are striking at facilities in Germany, members of environmental groups are demonstrating in Luxembourg and Amazon Ring call center workers who reportedly face "subhuman" conditions are holding a virtual protest, according to Vice News.
In the U.S., workers will gather at Amazon's Virginia and Seattle headquarters.
As Engadget reported on Friday, similar strikes have taken place over the last several years.
In a statement, Amazon told Business Insider the demonstrations were based on a "series of misleading assertions by misinformed or self-interested groups who are using Amazon’s profile to further their individual causes."
"Amazon has a strong track record of supporting our people, our customers, and our communities, including providing safe working conditions and leading $15 minimum wage and great benefits, leading on climate change with the Climate Pledge commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2040, and paying more than $5 billion in taxes globally," the company said.
On Thursday, the company announced in a blog post that it would give a total of $500 million in holiday bonuses to front-line workers.
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#MakeAmazonPay comes following a bombshell Vice report on Amazon's surveillance of its workers and environmentalist groups.
Sales on Amazon.com have soared this year amid the coronavirus pandemic and revenue is expected to skyrocket during the holiday season.