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An Example for Mistreated 'Workers Across the Globe,' Spanish Amazon Employees on Strike

"This is the richest company in the world and they want to keep profiting by taking away workers' rights"

Striking workers outside Amazon's San Fernando de Henares warehouse in Spain.

Striking workers outside Amazon's San Fernando de Henares warehouse in Spain. (Photo: Twitter/@cubero_alberto)

Amazon workers in Spain took part in the second of a two-day strike on Friday demanding improved job conditions from the online behemoth.

The strikers, said Isabel Serra, a member of the Podemos political party in the regional parliament, "are becoming an example and hope for workers across the globe."

Organizers say about 60 percent of the San Fernando de Henares warehouse took part—though Amazon refutes the figure. The timing of this latest strike by the Spanish Amazon workers is noteworthy, as it comes just ahead of a major gift-giving holiday for Spaniards, Three Kings Day, celebrated on January 6.

"We have been protesting for a year. This is the richest company in the world and they want to keep profiting by taking away workers' rights," said David Matarraz, an Amazon worker outside the Madrid-area warehouse.

Reuters also reports that the action is a joint effort of Spain's two main unions, CCOO and UGT.

Ahead of the action, the @AmazonEnLucha account, which is tweeting in support of the strike, said that for Three Kings Day, boycotting Amazon "is a good gift against precariousness."

Meanwhile, Amazon workers in the United States have been agitating for better conditions as well, with U.S. fulfillment center warehouse workers engaged in a union push—a point noted by the Spanish organizers, who praised the American workers for following in their footsteps and having decided "to denouce the precariousness they suffer."

The Guardian recently reported on the unionization push, which kicked off shortly after the opening of a new Amazon warehouse in Staten Island. "We are not robots. We are human beings," said worker Rashad Long.

"We cannot come into work after only four hours of sleep and be expected to be fully energized and ready to work. That's impossible," said Long. "I feel like all the company cares about is getting their products out to the customers as quickly humanly as possible, no matter what that means for us workers in the end."

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