Published: Mon, November 26, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Amazon workers in Germany, Spain launch Black Friday strikes

Amazon workers in Germany, Spain launch Black Friday strikes

The online retail giant's workers walked out of its logistic centers in Spain and Germany on a crucial day for sellers, marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping fever. Now, a British-based workers union General Municipal Boilermakers (GMB) has chose to fight back by organizing protests across the U.K., Italy and, Spain.

Amazon CEO "Jeff Bezos is the richest bloke on the planet; he can afford to sort this out".

Although, when asked about strikes at its facilities in these countries, Amazon claimed: "Our European Fulfilment Network is fully operational and we continue to focus on delivering for our customers".

But in a statement, Amazon said "the majority of workers on the morning shift" were working and processing orders.

Additionally, an anonymous insider who identified as a seasonal worker penned a column for The Guardian two days ago that purported alarming working conditions at an Amazon fulfillment center, citing "blown backs, boxes falling on people's heads, carpal tunnel in your coworkers' wrists and balky knees that never get better". "They are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious and being taken away in ambulances" said GMB General Secretary, Tim Roche. "We respect the rights of groups and individuals to have their voice, but for us it was business as usual inside our Fulfillment Centres". These are people making Amazon its money.

Adobe Analytics reports that Black Friday e-commerce spending across the USA topped $643 million as of 7 a.m. this morning, up 28 percent over a year ago.

Unions said between 85 and 90 percent of staff were taking part in the industrial action. "That's what we're campaigning for".

Employees want a labour agreement that would better overtime pay, for instance.

"We are a fair and responsible employer". Amazon has invested over 27 billion euros [$30.6 billion] and created over 75,000 permanent jobs across Europe since 2010.

More than 600 workers have gone on strike in Germany, where workers earn a starting salary of about $12 an hour, according to Reuters.

Amazon has become a symbol of wealth inequality and corporate welfare in the US since many of its warehouse workers receive government assistance for basic needs like food and health care, even though it is one of the world's most valuable companies run by Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, the world's wealthiest man.

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