Protesters Pressure Amazon With Black Friday Actions

Various groups call for treating employees better, paying taxes, cutting emissions
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2021 4:55 PM CST
Protesters Pressure Amazon With Black Friday Actions
Extinction Rebellion protesters put up a blockade at an Amazon fulfilment center on Friday in Tilbury, England.   (Ian West/PA via AP)

A coalition of organizations protested at Amazon buildings in the US and Europe on Friday, causing scattered disruptions on one of the company's busiest days. Separately, the environmental group Extinction Rebellion blocked access to distribution centers in the UK, the BBC reports, and said at least 30 of its UK protesters were arrested. The group, which calls Amazon "environmentally destructive," said it was taking similar action at company sites in Germany and Netherlands, per the Independent.

The coalition, Make Amazon Pay, wants the company to raise pay, improve working conditions, stop surveillance on employees, and engage with workers on union organization. The coalition's membership varies but country but includes nonprofits, grass-roots groups and labor and environmental organizations such as Greenpeace, but not Extinction Rebellion. Make Amazon Pay had called for a work stoppage on Friday in 20 countries, per CNET, including the US.

"Amazon takes too much and gives back too little," the coalition says. "The pandemic has exposed how Amazon places profits ahead of workers, society, and our planet," Make Amazon Pay says in its documents. The company said it's making progress, including on such issues as cutting its greenhouse gas emissions and paying its taxes. "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," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday. (After his trip to space, Jeff Bezos said he'll do more to preserve the environment.)

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