Thousands stage protests, worker walkouts at Amazon on Black Friday

Thousands are staging strikes and walking out of their jobs on Black Friday, pushing for the company to provide better wages and protect the global environment as it produces strong revenue numbers.

Strikes and walkouts are planned for Friday in more than 30 countries as part of the “Make Amazon Pay” campaign. The countries include the United States, India, Australia, Japan and many in Europe.

The coalition staging the protests includes a wide variety of groups representing Amazon workers and ones that push for certain related advocacy efforts.

The groups include Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, a group of Amazon employees pushing for the company to adopt better climate policies, and Greenpeace, which tries to find solutions to global environmental crises.

The website for the campaign states that real wages are dropping for Amazon workers while the company makes record revenues, including $121 billion in the second quarter of this year.

“But instead of supporting its workers, communities and the planet, Amazon is squeezing every last drop it can,” the website states.

It states that Amazon paid no income tax in Europe last year and was paid 1 billion euros in tax credits on 55 billion euros in sales. The campaign also states that Amazon only included 1 percent of its sales in its carbon accounting, but its carbon dioxide emissions rose by 18 percent last year.

“We are workers and citizens divided by geography and our role in the global economy but united in our commitment to Make Amazon Pay fair wages, its taxes and for its impact on the planet,” the website states.

Amazon has previously faced accusations from its workers that it is not paying fair wages and criticism over its impact on the environment. Workers at an Amazon warehouse in New York voted to form the company’s first union earlier this year.

An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement that it is inventing and investing significantly in the areas that those participating in the walkouts and strikes reference.

“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 on these important matters you’ll see that we do take our role and our impact very seriously,” they said.

The spokesperson pointed to Amazon’s pledge to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040 and said the company continues to offer “competitive” wages and benefits. They also said Amazon is “inventing” new ways to keep its employees safe and healthy.

“Anyone can see for themselves by taking a tour at one of our sites,” they said.

Updated at 11:56 a.m. to clarify that it is workers and protesters involved.

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