Amazon's European warehouse employees are walking out on Black Friday (updated)
Employees demand better pay and working conditionsBy Cohen Coberly 38 comments
Amazon's European warehouse workers are going on strike to protest Black Friday and the company's alleged mistreatment of its employees.
This isn't the first time Amazon has dealt with this sort of issue. In July, thousands of the company's Europe-based workers went on strike during Prime Day; a move they hoped would earn them better working conditions and improved pay.
This time around, protesters have similar goals. "It is one of the days that Amazon has most sales, and these are days when we can hurt more and make ourselves be heard," said Amazon employee Eduardo Hernandez in a statement to the Associated Press (AP). "Because the company has not listened to us and does not want to reach any agreement."
According to AP, union groups representing Amazon Spain's warehouse workers say "around 90 percent" of employees working at a "logistics depot" near Madrid did not turn up to work on Friday.
Amazon has reportedly disputed that number, stating that most employees did indeed show up as scheduled. Employees in Germany and Britain are also walking out or planning to walk out, over the course of Black Friday.
Whether or not these bold moves will pay off remains to be seen. Amazon has been battling with labor groups and disgruntled workers for years now, and not much in the way of progress seems to have been made.
Update 11/26/2018: An Amazon spokesperson has reached out to comment on the matter. Their statement is as follows:
Our European Fulfillment Network was fully operational today as our associates focused on delivering for our customers. Any reports to the contrary are simply wrong. We respect the rights of groups and individuals to have their voice, but for us it was business as usual inside our Fulfillment Centres.
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 EUR 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 --- learn more at https://amazonfctours.com.
The numbers released by the unions are categorically wrong. Today, the majority of our associates at Amazon's Fulfillment Center in San Fernando de Henares (Madrid) are working and processing our customers' orders, as they do every day.