- Amazon workers stage Black Friday protests across Europe, demanding higher pay in the “Make Amazon Pay” campaign.
- UNI Global Union organizes the campaign spanning 30 countries from Black Friday to Monday.
- Employees demand a £15 ($18.69) hourly wage, leading to strikes and demonstrations outside Amazon warehouses.
- Over 200 workers at Amazon’s Coventry warehouse in the UK participate in the strike, highlighting a longstanding pay dispute.
- Amazon responds, stating a minimum starting pay of £11.80 to £13 per hour, set to increase from April 2024.
- Approximately 2,000 workers strike in Germany, with conflicting reports on workforce participation.
- In Italy, over 60% of workers in Castel San Giovanni join the strike; Amazon disputes, stating 86% worked with no impact.
- Spanish union CCOO calls for one-hour strikes during “Cyber Monday” next week.
- French protests involve Amazon parcel lockers adorned with posters and barricade tape organized by Attac.
- Despite challenges, Amazon maintains dominance in Europe with 146 million active users in October.
- Black Friday protests amplify concerns over Amazon’s labour practices, sparking discussions on fair wages and working conditions.
In a series of coordinated protests against Amazon’s labour practices, workers walked out at various European locations on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year. The “Make Amazon Pay” campaign, organized by UNI Global Union, spanned over 30 countries from Black Friday to Monday.
Amazon employees were vocal about their demand for a pay raise to £15 ($18.69) per hour, with strikes and demonstrations taking place outside warehouses in multiple countries. The company, however, assured that the protests would not disrupt operations.
In the UK, more than 200 workers at Amazon’s Coventry warehouse participated in the strike, emphasizing their long-standing dispute over pay. Amazon responded by stating a minimum starting pay between £11.80 and £13 an hour, with an increase to £12.30 to £13 from April 2024.
Germany, Amazon’s second-largest market by sales, saw approximately 2,000 workers on strike across six fulfilment centres. The trade union Verdi reported significant participation, with 40% of the workforce striking in Rheinberg and 20% in Leipzig. Amazon contested these figures, claiming only a small number of workers were on strike and that Black Friday order deliveries would remain unaffected.
In Italy, over 60% of workers at the Amazon warehouse in Castel San Giovanni participated in the strike, as reported by trade union CGIL. Amazon countered, stating that more than 86% of its workers showed up for work, with no operational impact.
In Spain, the CCOO union called for a one-hour strike on each shift during “Cyber Monday” next week. Meanwhile, in France, Amazon’s parcel lockers were adorned with posters and barricade tape, reflecting protests organized by the anti-globalization group Attac.
Despite these challenges, Amazon remains a dominant player in Europe, maintaining popularity with 146 million active users in October, compared to 64 million for Shein and 51 million for Temu.
Concerns about Amazon’s labour practices continue to reverberate across Europe, raising questions about fair wages and working conditions for the e-commerce giant’s employees.
On Black Friday, workers across European Amazon facilities staged widespread strikes and protests, driven by the “Make Amazon Pay” campaign, that highlight mounting labour tensions within its labour practices. Their demands for an hourly pay of at least PS15 represent a unified push to improve working conditions at key markets like UK, Germany, Italy Spain France.
Although Amazon continues to hold a dominant position in Europe with a sizable user base, the demonstrations draw attention to persistent concerns over fair wages. Their response to demonstrations – disputes over participation figures and assurances of operational stability – shows the complexity surrounding labour disputes.
As the Black Friday protests unfold, their wider ramifications for Amazon’s labour policies become evident. Discussions around fair compensation and improved working conditions reflect a societal movement towards advocating for worker rights and wellbeing; calling into question existing labour practices of one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms.