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December 17th, 2020

End Amazon’s abuse of workers and the planet!

topic:Economic Fairness
type:Campaign, Petition
by:Yair Oded

Amazon’s abuse of its employees has drastically worsened throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the retail giant registered record profits due to a surge in orders during the months of global lockdowns, the company had failed to provide its workers with even the most basic safety measures—forcing them to work in overly-crowded spaces and issuing strict sick-leave policies that compelled many employees to show up to work ill; as a result, countless Amazon warehouses and facilities at turned into hotbeds of infection.  

The company’s neglect of its workers was also evident in its failure to provide them with proper compensation despite raking in close to $100 billion in the last quarter alone. Furthermore, the company has expanded its practice of handing workers unstable contracts and shifts that could be terminated or cancelled at any time - depriving them of job security and leaving them in a perpetual state of anxiety about the future. 

While Amazon’s malfeasance towards employees has been ongoing for a long time, and sporadic protests by workers took place in various locations around the world, the company’s conduct throughout the pandemic (and particularly around the holidays) has given rise to a global resistance movement of Amazon employees unprecedented in its size and scope.

Make Amazon Pay is an international coalition of Amazon employees and their allies demanding immediate improvements in the conditions and treatment of workers, as well as broader commitments by the retail giant concerning its business practices and conduct. 

From Bangladesh and India to Australia to the US and Europe, Amazon workers have been staging walkouts, sickouts, protests, and strikes. Among their top demands is the right to organise, unionise, and strike without fear of retribution by the company. 

Other demands by the coalition include improvements in wages, safety conditions, and job security, as well as a commitment by the company to terminate contracts with the fossil fuel industry and drastically reduce its carbon footprint (which currently exceeds that of two thirds of the world’s countries). 

Make Amazon Pay also demands that the company end its harassment and surveillance practices—both of workers and of labour unions and environmental groups whom it perceived as threatening and has evidently surveilled

The coalition has so far gained the endorsement of numerous human rights, labour, and environmental organisations, as well as of hundreds of politicians from across the world. In November, the coalition published an open letter, which was signed by 401 parliamentarians and public officials from 34 different countries, and personally addressed Bezos, stating, “We, elected representatives, legislators, and public officials from around the world, hereby put you on notice that Amazon’s days of impunity are over [...] We write to you now with a single commitment: to Make Amazon Pay.”

Tackling Amazon’s corporate greed and reckless conduct must be a globally coordinated effort. As stated by US Congress woman Rashida Talib (D-MI) in an email to The Intercept, “The situation at Amazon is a look into the future of labor, the future of our economy, and the future of the planet.” “The results of the experiment are clear—” she added, “left to their own devices, giant corporations like Amazon will ruthlessly extract every last dollar from their workers and the communities they exploit, enriching executives while grinding workers to the bone and putting their profits before the livability of the planet.”

Please add your name to the petition and join the call to Make Amazon Pay!

You may also spread the word about the coalition’s global resistance using the hashtag #makeamazonpay. 

Image: Fibonacci Blue

makeamazonpay.com