It’s Black Friday, a day that shows the true love that people have for an item that has been lowered below retail price.
A key player in the consumerism chaos that is Black Friday, is Amazon. The e-commerce giant profits hugely from the sales, but it seems that its employees do not.
The group is made up of 70 trade unions and organizations including Greenpeace, Oxfam, and Amazon Workers International.
In a statement, the group said: “On Black Friday 26 November 2021, from oil refineries, to factories, to warehouses, to data centers, to corporate offices in countries across the world, workers and activists are rising up in strikes, protests and actions to Make Amazon Pay.”
Why are employees striking?
In a blog post, Make Amazon Pay claimed: “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.”
The statement notes that over the course of the pandemic it became increasingly apparent that profits were valued to a much greater extent than employees.
As a result, the strike demands a large list of changes. Inside the workplace, those on strike are asking for higher pay, less stressful schedules, better paid sick leave, and increased healthcare measures.
The strike also calls for more job security and the end of temporary working arrangements. There is also an ask for those who have been fired for raising safety concerns to be reinstated as well as an end to the practice of union-busting.
Interestingly, Amazon workers are also asking for more ethical practices from the company. This interest in the ethics of a company follows recent trends that have found that aligning beliefs can improve employee engagement.
Make Amazon Pay asks for the company to improve sustainability and give back to communities and the people who enable Amazon’s success. Additionally, the lack of tax paid by the company is called out by those who intend to go on strike today.
In response, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told Insider that the company is “inventing and investing significantly” in several of the areas that are noted by Make Amazon Pay. This includes climate pledges, improved wages, and better benefits.
Nantel commented: “These groups represent a variety of interests, and while we are not perfect in any area, if you objectively look at what Amazon is doing in each one of these areas you’ll see that we do take our role and our impact very seriously.”
The impact of this strike is yet to be felt, but it is clear that Amazon has work to do if it truly wants to be one of the world’s best employers.
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