Amazon workers strike on Black Friday during worldwide protest

On the traditional beginning of the holiday shopping season, workers at some Amazon locations are walking off the job to protest for workers’ rights.

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The strike isn’t limited to Amazon distribution centers in Europe. Several locations in Germany and France saw workers stop their duties as part of the “Make Amazon Pay” movement, Reuters reported.

Protests were also scheduled for Whole Foods stores and locations in Bessemer, Alabama; Columbia, Maryland; Detroit; Durham, North Carolina; Garner, North Carolina; Joliet, Illinois; Philadelphia; Portland, Oregon; and Washington, D.C., CBS News reported.

Overall, there were demonstrations in 30 countries worldwide, Reuters reported.

The workers are pushing Amazon on several causes, including higher wages and better climate policies, The Hill reported.

They’re also pushing for more workplace safety. The company, according to a labor group that organized the German strike, says Amazon uses computers and algorithms to create benchmarks for productivity without taking into account an employee’s physical ability and age, Bloomberg reported.

Nearly half of the injuries in U.S. warehouses happened at Amazon in 2021, CBS News reported. The company operated about a third of all warehouses in the country at the time, the Strategic Organizing Center said.

Amazon has historically defended its safety record and denies the SOC’s findings.

Company officials said that while the call to strike had been issued across the globe, the majority of workers in the German locations, where nine of the 20 warehouses saw protests, were still on the job as normal.

It is a similar situation in France, where union leaders didn’t expect a high turnout since the rising cost-of-living is pushing workers to sign up for overtime, Reuters reported.

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment from CBS News, but company officials in Germany told Reuters that, “As an employer, Amazon offers great pay, benefits and development opportunities — all in an attractive and safe working environment,”

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