Black Friday on track to be truly black day for Amazon — Analysis

Amazon workers are preparing to disrupt the world’s largest online retailer’s operations on Black Friday with strikes planned in over 30 countries.

Dubbed ‘Make Amazon Pay’, the global workers’ coalition group aims to make the retail behemoth raise wages, pay a fair share in taxes and scale down its “Your impact on the world” as the strikers’ website outlines. The employees’ protest on November 26 is expected to affect Amazon’s warehouses, data centers, offices, and affiliated factories in countries as disparate as the US, Germany, India, and South Africa.

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In its list of demands, the broad constellation of 70 trade unions and groups like Greenpeace and Oxfam claims the “Amazon profits over workers and society in the face of pandemics has been exposed.” summing up its grievances thus: “Amazon gives too much to Amazon.

The online retailer and its founder, Jeff Bezos, raked in record revenues during the height of the pandemic, making Amazon a trillion-dollar company and sending Bezos’ net worth skyrocketing to a whopping $214 billion.

The company’s rank and file workers, however, say their lives are far less rosy, with grueling working hours, minuscule breaks, inadequate pay, and unsafe working conditions being among the most frequently voiced complaints. Disenchanted workers have protested at many locations over the last year. There was even a global strike on Black Friday 2020. Amazon was also subject to multiple antitrust investigations by regulators from Canada, the EU and the US.

Commenting on the upcoming strikes, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel insisted that while the company is not “Amazon has never been perfect, but if you take a look objectively at Amazon in each of these areas, it will be clear that Amazon does care about its impact and plays a significant role in them.

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