Amazon employees and labor activists in nearly 30 countries, including the US intend to walk out on Black Friday.

The campaign, promoted on Twitter with the hashtag #MakeAmazonPay, is set to coincide with the busiest shopping day for retailers.

Workers are pushing for better wages and improved working conditions.

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Workers will strike at Amazon subsidiary Whole Foods outlets.

Demonstrations are scheduled in Alabama, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Washington, D.C.

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Amazon staff and activists are expected to march in New York City in front of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s residence.

Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of the UNI Global Union Christy Hoffman said: “On Black Friday, unions, civil society and progressive elected officials will stand shoulder to shoulder in a massive global day of action to denounce Amazon’s despicable multimillion-dollar campaigns to kill worker-lead union efforts.

“It’s time for the tech giant to cease their awful, unsafe practices immediately, respect the law and negotiate with the workers who want to make their jobs better.”

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Amazon did not reply immediately to a request for comment.

Other countries where protests are held include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, Turkey, and the UK. 

An official with a German trade union Ver.di said workers are greatly concerned about Amazon’s use of computers to track their productivity.

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Monika di Silvestre said: “The workers are under a lot of pressure with these algorithms.

“It doesn’t differentiate between workers, whether they are old or have limited mobility. 

“Workers stay awake at night thinking only of their productivity stats.”

The e-commerce giant was responsible for over half of all warehouse injuries in the US in 2021.

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A report by the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC) said: “Amazon employed one-third of all warehouse workers in the US, but it was responsible for nearly one-half (49%) of all injuries in the warehouse industry.”

Amazon has previously defended its safety record and denied that the firm’s warehouses had higher accident rates.

Workers seeking to unionize have put extra demand on the firm in the US.

Source: CBS News

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