Seattle-based Amazon faces criticism from climate activists who say excessive consumption harms the environment, while union alliance says company is not paying workers enough nor enough taxes for governments.
“Black Friday embodies an obsession with overconsumption that is not compatible with a livable planet,” said the group Extinction Rebellion after blocking 13 Amazon deposits across the UK.
“Amazon and companies like this have capitalized on our desire for convenience and stoked rampant consumerism at the expense of the natural world,” he said.
Reuters reporters at an Amazon depot at the docks in Tilbury, eastern England, said protesters blocked the entrance, meaning no vehicles could enter or exit. The group also said it has blocked Amazon deposits in Germany and the Netherlands.
The banners read: “Black Friday exploits the people and the planet” and “Infinite growth, a finite planet”.
Extinction Rebellion said Amazon’s “crimes” included activities that emitted more carbon dioxide than a medium-sized country, aiding fossil fuel companies.
“We have an extensive network of sites across the UK and do our utmost to minimize any potential disruption to customers,” said a spokesperson for Amazon, which hosted the traditional Black Friday discount day at the United States in Great Britain in 2010.
Amazon also said it takes its responsibilities “very seriously”.
“This includes our commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040 – 10 years before the Paris Agreement – by providing excellent wages and benefits in a safe and modern working environment, and by supporting the tens of thousands of small UK businesses selling in our store. “
“We know there is always more to do,” he said.
Unions in Europe’s largest economies have also called on warehouse workers and delivery drivers to strike against what they called Amazon’s unfairly low wages and taxes.
In Germany, the company’s largest market after the United States, union Verdi said about 2,500 employees went on strike at Amazon’s shipping centers in Rheinberg, Koblenz and Graben.
In France, one of the country’s main unions, the CGT, has called on Amazon workers in the country to go on strike. The union coalition also reported a strike in Italy.
“The coalition demands that Amazon pay its workers fairly and respect their right to join unions, pay its fair share of taxes and commit to true environmental sustainability,” the “Make Amazon Pay” coalition said in a statement.