Thousands of Amazon workers all across Europe are striking today.
As shoppers in the U.S.A. log in to Amazon to find Black Friday deals, Amazon workers in the UK, Spain, France, Italy, and Germany are striking to protest working conditions in the company’s warehouses.
The British trade union that represents Amazon’s warehouse workers, GMB Union, says its members are protesting “in anger of inhumane conditions” that they claim Amazon’s warehouse employees endure. The union has been posting updates from the strike on social media under the hashtag #AmazonWeAreNotRobots.
“The conditions our members at Amazon are working under are frankly inhuman. They are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious and being taken away in ambulances. We’re standing up and saying enough is enough, these are people making Amazon its money. People with kids, homes, bills to pay — they’re not robots,” GMB General Secretary Tim Roache wrote in a . “Jeff Bezos is the richest bloke on the planet; he can afford to sort this out. Working people and the communities Amazon operates in deserve better than this. That’s what we’re campaigning for.”
Another union , UNI Global, says over 2,000 of its members are demonstrating throughout Europe. An reports Amazon managers have had to do the jobs of warehouse workers and pack items due to the number of employees striking.
This isn’t the first time this year Amazon warehouse workers in Europe have protested working conditions. Workers in Europe went on strike earlier this year on another one of Amazon’s peak shopping events, Prime Day, demanding better conditions in the company’s warehouses.
Not long after Prime Day, Amazon instituted a “Fulfillment Center Ambassador” program, in which certain Amazon employees were given a new job within the company: defending Amazon on Twitter. The FC Ambassadors would referencing negative news about Amazon warehouse working conditions, such as workers having to pee in bottles, in order to dispel the reports.
“Our European Fulfillment Network is fully operational as we all remain focused on delivering the best customer experience for the peak season. Any reports to the contrary are simply wrong,” said an Amazon spokesperson in a statement to Mashable. “Amazon is a fair and responsible employer. We believe in continuous improvement across our network and maintain an open and direct dialogue with our associates.
“Amazon has invested over 27 billion euros and created over 75,000 permanent jobs across Europe since 2010. These are good jobs with highly competitive pay, full benefits, and innovative training programs like Career Choice that pre-pays 95% of tuition for associates. We provide safe and positive working conditions, and encourage anyone to come see for themselves by taking a tour at one of our fulfillment centers.”