UNI global union used Amazon’s 20th birthday on 15 July to highlight the grim reality for the company’s workers behind the commercial success story, and, along with the ver.di union, urged customers and citizens to send birthday greetings to the global retailer protesting against poor working conditions.
Amazon workers in Germany turned up for work wearing T-Shirts bearing the slogan ‘Yes to a Collective Agreement at Amazon’ and ceased work for one minute.
Amazon is calling today ‘Prime Day’ but UNI declared it ’Shame Day’, as the world’s largest online retailer consistently breaches the fundamental rights of its staff. Violations include precarious jobs, the use of invasive monitoring techniques, constant pressure, and a domineering attitude towards authors, publishers and small online retailers. UNI claims the company has ‘also become a master in the use of tax-dodging tricks which has deprived communities for many years of tax income that runs into the billions’.
ITF general secretary Steve Cotton said: “Amazon is a company that’s grown by leaps and bounds. It’s also one that is evading its responsibilities. Our colleagues in ver.di and UNI global union used yesterday to hold Amazon to account. To persuade it to do the decent thing. To lead by example.
“The modern supply chain relies on the workers whose skills deep I moving. They deserve decent conditions and a collective voice. Let’s help them get it.”
The unions claim that Amazon has categorically refused to negotiate with them, despite its workers in Germany demanding a collective agreement since 2013.