Amazon workers plan Black Friday strike – CNET

Black Friday could be a quiet day at Amazon warehouses

Black Friday could be a quiet day at Amazon warehouses.

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Amazon might have a rough Black Friday. Workers for the online retail giant want better pay and improvements to the workplace, and for the company to be more proactive on issues such as the climate crisis, or else they’ll strike on the biggest shopping day of the year. 

Make Amazon Pay is a coalition of workers and labor organizations calling for a labor strike by Amazon employees across the company’s operations, such as data centers, factories and warehouses. They plan to organize the work stoppage for Black Friday in 20 countries including India, Germany and the United States. 

“The pandemic has exposed how Amazon places profits ahead of workers, society, and our planet,” the coalition said in its demands document. “Amazon takes too much and gives back too little. It is time to Make Amazon Pay.”

The group’s demands are split into five categories: workplace improvements, job security, respect for workers’ rights, sustainable operations and paying back society. Workplace improvements include improving pay, adding hazard pay, providing adequate break time, extending paid sick leave and disclosing COVID-19 protocols. 

For job security, the group wants the end of forms of casual employment and contractors while reinstating employees fired for organizing protests. Respecting workers’ rights focuses primarily on allowing employees to form a union and for Amazon to not conduct union-busting tactics. The group also calls for the retail giant to acknowledge climate change, to reduce emissions to zero and to pay its taxes. 

Amazon says it’s already made headway on these demands. 

“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,” Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in a statement Wednesday. 

Last year, there was a similar call for a workers’ strike on Black Friday after Amazon’s sales rose sharply during the COVID pandemic. 

In April, Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, voted against forming a union at that facility.

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