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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

"Make Amazon Pay" movement to strike & protest on Black Friday

Image via Fibonacci Blue from Minnesota, USA, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

A coalition of groups that includes the Progressive International, UNI Global Union, Amazon Workers International, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and many others have organized strikes and protests against Amazon to be held around the world on the Black Friday (November 26 this year) shopping day.

According to their website:

We are workers and activists divided by geography and our role in the global economy but united in our commitment to Make Amazon Pay fair wages, its taxes and for its impact on the planet.
On Black Friday 26 November 2021, from oil refineries, to factories, to warehouses, to data centres, to corporate offices in countries across the world, workers and activists are rising up in strikes, protests and actions to Make Amazon Pay.

There are protests or strikes planned in the United States, Canada, India, Bangladesh, Japan, the UK, Germany, Australia, Argentina and many other countries.

Their statement of Common Demands notes that:

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Amazon became a trillion dollar corporation, with Bezos becoming the first person in history to amass $200 billion in personal wealth. Meanwhile, Amazon warehouse workers risked their lives as essential workers, and only briefly received an increase in pay.
As Amazon’s corporate empire expands, so too has its carbon footprint, which is larger than two thirds of all countries in the world. Amazon’s growing delivery and cloud computer businesses are accelerating global climate breakdown.
Like all major corporations, Amazon’s success would be impossible without the public institutions that citizens built together over generations. 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. In 2019, Amazon paid just 1.2% tax in the US, the country it is headquartered in, up from 0% the two previous years.
Amazon is not alone in these bad practices but it sits at the heart of a failed system that drives the inequality, climate breakdown and democratic decay that scar our age.
The pandemic has exposed how Amazon places profits ahead of workers, society, and our planet. Amazon takes too much and gives back too little. It is time to Make Amazon Pay.

The long list of demands include:

  • raising workers’ pay in all Amazon warehouses in line with the increasing wealth of the corporation, including hazard pay and premium pay for peak times

  • extending paid sick leave to all Amazon workers, so that no worker has to choose between their health or their job

  • ending all forms of casual employment and bogus self-employment or contractor status

  • ending union busting, respecting workers’ right to organize, and unions’ rights to promote workers’ interests, and immediately stop all forms of spying on workers and organizers

  • committing to zero emissions by 2030

  • paying taxes in full, in the countries where the real economic activity takes place, ending tax abuse through profit shifting, loopholes and the use of tax havens, and providing full tax transparency



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