Amazon workers and activists in about 30 countries, including the US, plan to walk off the job and hold other protests on Friday to demand better pay and working conditions.
The campaign, which the teams are promoting on Twitter with the hashtag #MakeAmazonPayis scheduled to coincide with Black Friday, a key shopping day for Amazon and other retailers.
As part of the protests, Amazon employees at a company warehouse in St. Peters, Missouri, plan to stop work Friday, according to Athena, an alliance of local and national groups pushing for workers’ rights at the e-commerce giant.
Labor actions are also planned at Amazon-owned Whole Foods stores and other locations in Bessemer, Alabama. Columbia, Maryland; Detroit, Michigan? Durham, North Carolina; Garner, North Carolina; Joliet, Illinois; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania? Portland, Oregon; and Washington, DC
Amazon workers and activists on Friday will also rally in front of a residence owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in New York, Athena said.
“On Black Friday, in what has already been dubbed #MakeAmazonPay day, unions, civil society and progressive elected officials will stand side by side in a massive global day of action to denounce Amazon’s despicable multi-billion dollar campaigns to to kill the efforts of labor-led unions. Christy Hoffman, general secretary of the UNI Global Union, a group leading the protests, said in a statement. with employees who want to improve their jobs.”
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Among the countries where Amazon will face strikes and protests, according to UNI Global Union: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Netherlands, Poland , Slovakia, South Africa, Turkey and United Kingdom
Monika di Silvestre, an employee of Ver.di, a German labor group helping to organize the #MakeAmazonPay campaign, told Bloomberg that workers are particularly interested in Amazon’s use of computers to track their productivity.
“Employees are under a lot of pressure with these algorithms,” he said. “It doesn’t differentiate between workers, whether they’re elderly or have limited mobility. Workers stay awake at night thinking only about their productivity stats.”
Nearly half of all injuries were recorded in US warehouses in 2021according to the Center for Strategic Organizing, a coalition of unions.
“Amazon employed one-third of all warehouse workers in the US, but was responsible for nearly half (49%) of all warehouse industry injuries,” according to the Strategic Organization Center (SOC) report.
Amazon has previously defended its safety record and denied that injury rates are higher in the company’s warehouses.
The company has faced increasing pressure in the US from workers seeking to unionize. Earlier this year, a warehouse on Staten Island in New York, and other facilities have also applied for collective bargaining rights. Most recently, working at an Amazon warehouse in upstate New York .
Last week, a federal judge ordered Amazon to stop retaliating against workers who participated in workplace activism. The ruling came in a court case brought by the National Labor Relations Board, which sued Amazon in March seeking reinstatement of a fired employee involved in organizing the company’s Staten Island warehouse.
—The Associated Press contributed to this report.