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Attac movement activists hold signs during an anti-Black Friday action in front of the Amazon France headquarters in Clichy, north of Paris, early on November 29, 2019. (Photo: Stephane De Sakutin/AFP via Getty Images)

Black Friday Protests Across Europe Demand Amazon 'Start Treating Workers Like Humans—Not Robots'

"Workers are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious, and being taken away in ambulances."

Jake Johnson

Labor rights activists and climate campaigners across Europe used the occasion of Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, to call attention to and protest Amazon's "appalling" working conditions, paltry benefits, and destructive environmental practices.

"Workers are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious, and being taken away in ambulances," said Mick Rix, national officer with the GMB Union, which organized demonstrations at Amazon warehouses across the United Kingdom on Friday.

"Amazon has spent a fortune on fluffy adverts saying what a great place it is to work," Rix added. "Why not spend the money making their warehouses less dangerous places to work? Amazon workers want Jeff Bezos to know they are people—not robots."

GMB said Amazon employees at locations throughout the U.K. have reported being denied restroom breaks, penalized for taking sick days, and forced to work at a dangerous pace to meet the retail behemoth's productivity goals.

"GMB members report targets being so horrific they have to use plastic bottles to urinate in instead of going to the toilet, and pregnant women have been forced to stand for hours on end," the union said in a statement.

In France, demonstrators held sit-ins at Amazon's Clichy headquarters to condemn the retail giant's contributions to the climate crisis.

"We criticize Amazon for having a destructive policy for the planet, for social conditions, and Black Friday allows this company to achieve exponential revenue," said activist Sandy Olivar Calvo.

At an Amazon distribution center near Lyon, France, police assaulted and forcibly removed demonstrators who staged a sit-in to condemn the corporation's climate practices:


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New Research Finds Climate Emergency the 'Overwhelming Factor' Behind Australian Bushfires

"It is now clear that human-induced climate change is creating ever more dangerous conditions for fires in Australia."

Andrea Germanos ·


WHO Chief Urges Pandemic Treaty to Avoid Another 'Crisis of Sharing and Solidarity'

"It will all happen again unless you, the nations of the world, can come together to say with one voice: never again."

Julia Conley ·


Iran Says US Must Lift 'Tyrannical and Illegal' Sanctions to Return to Nuclear Deal

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has entered the talks with a strong will and elaborate preparations in order to ensure the removal of unlawful and cruel sanctions."

Jake Johnson ·


2.5 Million Nurses Demand UN Probe Into 'Covid-19 Criminals' Blocking Patent Waiver

The European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, and Singapore "must be investigated for blocking a faster global vaccine rollout leading to the loss of countless lives."

Jake Johnson ·


WHO, South Africa Urge Nations to Lift 'Naive' Omicron Travel Bans

"The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to, and recover from, the pandemic."

Brett Wilkins ·

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