#MakeAmazonPay: Global protest on anti-union practices at e-tailing behemoth

Activists around the world, including India, will come together on Black Friday (November 27) to protest against e-tailing behemoth Amazon’s anti-union practices. 

Published: 27th November 2020 02:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th November 2020 08:41 AM   |  A+A-

A French Basque activist from 'Bizi' ('Live' in Basque) blocks an Amazon hub in Bayonne, southwestern France, Wednesday, Nov.18, 2020. (Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Activists around the world, including India, will come together on Black Friday (November 27) to protest against e-tailing behemoth Amazon’s anti-union practices. Protests will be held across the world, including in New Delhi and Hyderabad, under the #MakeAmazonPay banner.

Some of the organisations that have lent their support to the protests include Progressive International, Hawkers Joint Action Committee, UNI Global Union, 350.org and Greenpeace.

The movement, endorsed by Noam Chomsky, Cornel West and other eminent activists, workers and supporters around the world, will embark on a day of action with protests to demand that Amazon pays its workers fairly and respects their right to join unions, pays its fair share of taxes, respects small businesses and commits to real environment sustainability.  

Action will take place across Amazon’s global empire, including its supply chain in countries like Brazil, Mexico, US, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, Poland, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Australia. 

“In India, Amazon is undergoing an antitrust probe, for its unfair practices with vendors. But its labour practices in India deserve equal scrutiny. Warehouses are the new-age sweatshops, relying on over-stressed and under-paid workers with few protections.

Today’s general strike in India shows that the people demand better than the government inviting yet more exploitation to the country by companies like Amazon, according to a press release from Progressive International’s India campaign lead.

‘Greenpeace with those who are fighting Amazon’s tricks’

“If governments like Modi’s refuse to, it will be this global movement that will Make Amazon Pay,” the Progressive International added.

In India, physical actions will take place in Delhi and Hyderabad, with online action around the country.

The Make Amazon Pay coalition will project its slogan onto Amazon facilities in four continents, with the first in Hyderabad, home to Amazon’s largest global office.

According to a recent survey, 80% of 1,003 respondents said Amazon needed to “listen to worker concerns about safety and workloads”, The Independent reported.

Also, 43% of people believed Amazon had not treated its workers fairly during Covid-19.

In July, Amazon was accused of using surveillance technology on workers to stop them forming unions and boost productivity, according to a research paper released by the Open Markets Institute.

According to the demands submitted to Amazon, instead of giving back to the societies that helped it grow, the corporation starves them of revenue through tax dodge.

“The $1.5 trillion corporation that is Amazon is only so because of a failed system that pushes short-term consumerism to the max, stresses out our planet and fuels inequality. While Bezos’ polluting billions stack up, Amazon workers take big risks with little reward. With a carbon footprint larger than many countries, Greenpeace stands in solidarity with all who are fighting to reign in Amazon’s excessive power and climate-wrecking practices,” Jennifer Morgan, ED, Greenpeace, said.


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