Protesters Target Amazon Over Wages on Black Friday
The world’s largest retailer is facing a massive boycott on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Black Friday is one of the most profitable shopping days of the entire year, acting as a sort of shrine to capitalism an da succinct indicator of just how much consumer confidence exists out in the nation at this crucial time of year.
But this year is different, as it has been from the get-go, as the coronavirus pandemic affects our ability to gather and shop as we normally would on Black Friday. Instead of waiting in wildly long lines in person, we’re queuing up online, hoping to snag the best and brightest holiday grifts from online sellers.
No online store is larger and more diverse than Amazon.com, of course, and there are plenty of Black Friday deals to be had on the website.
The online retailer isn’t without controversy, however.
A coalition of unions, human-rights organizations, and environmentalist groups on Friday launched a global protest of the e-commerce giant called “Make Amazon Pay.”
The organizations behind the coalition — including UNI Global Union, Progressive International, Oxfam, and Greenpeace — gave a list of wide-ranging demands including raising warehouse workers’ pay and benefits, ending union-busting tactics, and committing to ending Amazon’s contracts with fossil-fuel industries.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, Amazon became a trillion dollar corporation, with Bezos becoming the first person in history to amass $200 billion in personal wealth,” their demands statementsaid. “Meanwhile, Amazon warehouse workers risked their lives as essential workers, and only briefly received an increase in pay.” Amazon workers received a $2-per-hour wage increase in March that was then cut in the summer.
The coronavirus was an undeniable reason for Amazon’s suddenly skyrocketing sales, as Americans chose to spend less and less time in public in an effort to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus.
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