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Make Amazon Pay

27 November, 2020The pandemic has exposed how Amazon places profits ahead of workers, society, and our planet. Amazon takes too much and gives back too little; it is time to Make Amazon Pay. On Black Friday, 27 November, the biggest retail sales day in the United States, as well as in other parts of the world, workers, unions, global unions and activists are taking action. Let’s make this a Bad Friday for Amazon’s bosses.

As another step of the global campaign on the textile, garment, shoe and leather sector, IndustriALL is joining the global action against Amazon together with UNI Global Union, ITUC, Oxfam, Tax Justice Network and others to call Amazon to account.

Among other things, we demand Amazon change its policies and pay workers in line with the increasing wealth of the corporation, introduce adequate break time to ensure safe work, extended paid sick leave to all workers, end union busting, respect workers’ rights to organize and immediately stop all forms of spying on workers and organizations.

IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches says:

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, with a sky-rocketing global growth of e-commerce, Amazon became a trillion-dollar corporation, with CEO Jeff Bezos becoming the first person in history to amass US$200 billion in personal wealth. Meanwhile, Amazon warehouse workers as essential workers and only briefly received an increase in pay.   

“Together with fellow global unions, workers, activists, and citizens from across the globe, IndustriALL is joining forces to Make Amazon Pay its workers fairly, for its impact on the environment and its taxes.”

Many of us know the name Amazon and think of massive warehouses that are the centres of a sophisticated, global distribution network. It is the largest online retailer in the world and you can order nearly anything on Amazon and have it delivered the next day.

You may also be aware of Amazon’s open anti-union tactics, its appalling health and safety records in the warehouses, and of owner Jeff Bezos unimaginable personal wealth as a result of founding Amazon in 1994.

But what is less known is that Amazon Fashion is a growing brand within the global garment supply chain. The company has become the leading apparel retailer in the United States, quoted as the number one destination for apparel shoppers, beating Target and Walmart.

Amazon’s fashion offerings are varied and complex with hundreds of private label brands like Amazon Essentials, Goodthreads, Daily Ritual, Lark&Ro, Cable Stitch and Buttoned Down. It currently has over US$30 billion in sales and is actively looking to expand its market share in Europe and the rest of the world.

Amazon’s supply chain stretches across the globe with production in Bangladesh, China, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Vietnam.

Following on 4 September and 7 October, this is the third global day of action for the garment and textile sector.