Activists strike world’s largest e-tailer on Black Friday
Climate activists Extinction Rebellion have disrupted Amazon’s operations, targeting 15 of its fulfilment depots across the world, while warehouse workers and delivery drivers have started a strike in Germany, France, and Italy.
On what is traditionally the online retailer’s busiest day of the year, the group has blocked the entrance to depots in the US, UK, Germany, and the Netherlands, unfurling banners reading, “Amazon crime”, “Infinite growth, finite planet” and “Black Friday exploits people and planet”. It says it has targeted the company for stoking excessive consumption that harms the environment and emitting carbon rivaling that of a country the size of Denmark. Amazon has also fallen foul of trade unions in Europe’s biggest economies, which claim the company underpays its employees and evades taxes.
15 distributie centra onbereikbaar, in NL, DE, en VK. @Amazon faciliteert #klimaatcrisis.Amazon werft actief nieuwe klanten fossiele industrie (@Shell, @BP_plc, @ExxonMobil) voor AWS, door sponsoren van olie- en gasconferenties. Sluit je aan of doneer! #greenFridaypic.twitter.com/q2QEugw618— Extinction Rebellion Nederland (@NLRebellion) November 26, 2021
Police in Dartford try reasoning with Extinction Rebellion protesters at their blockade outside the Amazon warehouse.Police: "What can I do to make you move?"Protester: "A phone call with Mr Bezos." pic.twitter.com/04LyHnuUtd— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) November 26, 2021
In Germany, Amazon’s second-biggest market, around 2,500 employees went on strike at three fulfilment centers, according to the Verdi union, and strikes are also underway in France and Italy.
Amazon did not directly address the protests, but stated that it takes its responsibilities “very seriously,” including its aim to be net zero by 2040, but acknowledges that “there is always more to do.”