Labor groups have declared that this year’s Black Friday marked the largest day of strike action in Amazon’s history. With the aim of overshadowing the anticipated surge in sales during the Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday period, these strikes and protests were organized by the Make Amazon Pay campaign, led by the UNI Global Union and Progressive International, spanning over 30 countries.
In the UK, the GMB union announced that over 1,000 workers at a warehouse in Coventry would be putting down their tools due to a dispute regarding pay. Additionally, a protest was planned to take place at Amazon’s London headquarters. Meanwhile, in Germany, the Verdi union called for an all-day strike affecting five logistics sites.
Amanda Gearing, an organizer for the GMB union, stated, “Today will see the largest day of industrial disruption in Amazon’s thirty-year history.” Despite this, an Amazon spokesperson assured that the company did not expect any disruptions for customers. They also emphasized that Amazon offers competitive pay, benefits, career opportunities, and a safe working environment.
Although workers at a site in New York voted to form the first American union at an Amazon facility last year, subsequent attempts to establish unions have failed. More recently, union efforts in the US have been focused on delivery drivers. The Teamsters union disclosed that workers have picketed 25 warehouses across the country in recent months. It is important to note that American delivery drivers are not directly employed by Amazon but are instead contracted through “delivery service partners.”
As of early trading, Amazon shares have shown a slight decrease.