European Amazon workers strike over work conditions, call on Prime Day boycott

Tyrone Stewart

Amazon Fulfilment CentreAmazon has come under fire in recent months over the conditions some of its staff are forced to work in within the eCommerce giant’s warehouses. Now, European workers have decided to join forces and take action during the online shopping platform during its biggest week of the year.

Spanish employees have called on workers around Europe to disrupt Amazon Prime Day, the company’s biggest sales day for Prime customers, by staging a walkout during the event unless concessions are made by Amazon in order to ensure “health and decent jobs” for staff.

“The struggles against the abuses of the multinational company Amazon and for the distribution of its benefits are spreading throughout Europe,” writes the group of Spanish Amazon staff. “In spite of the company’s strategy to open new centres in countries that are ‘quieter’ from the point of view of trade unionism, the tough working conditions it enforces are driving more and more workers to rebel against them.”

Employees in nations across Europe have reasons to be disgruntled with Amazon.

In the UK, there have been reports of workers being forced to meet impossible targets and falling asleep on their feet, while being timed on their toilet breaks and penalised for taking sick days. And similar has been seen in France.

In Poland, Amazon is accused of using the nation’s anti-strike laws to continue paying staff low salaries. In Germany, there is an ongoing battle over a collective agreement to guarantee the rights of all workers. In Spain, it is said that Amazon “unilaterally imposed” working conditions once a previous collective bargaining agreement had expired. In Italy, Amazon is accused of hiring thousands of casual workers for logistic centres, despite fixed-term contracts being the norm in the nation.

These are the reasons that the Spanish employees have called on their colleagues around Europe to band together during Prime Day in order to prevent Prime Day from occurring.

“The idea is that if no concessions to the workers are made, that day will not take place,” said the workers.

There is yet to be word on whether we can expect US employees – or staff from other regions outside of Europe – to be joining in on the strike action.