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Protesters hit Amazon buildings on Black Friday


Protests are being staged at Amazon buildings in the UK, US, and Europe - on Black Friday.

The shopping sales day is among Amazon's busiest all year.


An international coalition of unions, equality and environmental groups called "Make Amazon Pay" is staging a day of action, demanding concessions.


Meanwhile, the Extinction Rebellion environmental group has targeted Amazon depots in the UK, blocking entrances and access roads.


The group has blocked Amazon centres in Tilbury, Essex, and at Avonmouth near Bristol, according to reporters on the scene. It says it is also staging action in Manchester, Newcastle, and abroad in Germany and Netherlands.


In all, it says it has blockaded 15 centres - 13 of which are in the UK.

"Black Friday epitomises an obsession with over-consumption that is not consistent with a liveable planet," the group said.


"Amazon and companies like it have capitalised on our desire for convenience and stoked rampant consumerism at the expense of the natural world."


"Amazon takes too much and gives back too little," it claims - backed by trade unions, grassroots campaigns and non-profit-making organisations in individual countries.


Owen Espley, from the War on Want campaign group, said: "Amazon's growing power is a threat to communities and workers around the world.

"Amazon is abusing its dominance across online retail, cloud services, and logistics, to create unfair competition that is driving down standards for everyone.

"Amazon workers face unsafe conditions, constant surveillance and are treated like robots.

"It's time for Amazon to pay fair wages, fair taxes, and for its impact on the planet."

"This company is a pandemic profiteer can afford to do better," said Mick Rix, from the GMB Union. "It's time for Amazon sit down with their workers' union GMB and make Amazon a great, safe place to work. "


Amazon reported a tripling of profits earlier this year, attributed to its success during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Amazon issued a prepared statement in advance of the protests about the wider Make Amazon Pay movement.


"These groups represent a variety of interests, and while we are not perfect in any area, if you objectively look at what Amazon is doing in each one of these areas you'll see that we do take our role and our impact very seriously," it said.


"We are inventing and investing significantly in all these areas, playing a significant role in addressing climate change with the Climate Pledge commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040, continuing to offer competitive wages and great benefits, and inventing new ways to keep our employees safe and healthy in our operations network, to name just a few."




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