Amazon is the fourth most valuable corporation in the world. On Black Friday last year, Amazon.co.uk sold more than 7.4 million items, at a rate of around 86 items per second.
Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Dunfermline have called in protests by young anti-exploitation activists over working conditions in the wealthy corporation’s shipping operation. Activists from campaigning groups including Better than Zero (BtZ) and Fife People’s Assembly organised the protest to coincide with ‘Black Friday’ the busiest shopping day of the year which sees the online market’s business soar. A Unite union organiser said: “We are taking action against Amazon as one of the most exploitative employers in the country. As we did with Sports Direct Unite the union are joining forces with Better than Zero to shut down their distribution plant in Dunfermline at the start of Black Friday.”
Representatives from Fife People’s Assembly were joined by colleagues from Fife Trades Union Council with the support of the STUC to make their views heard
One Amazon worker at the Dunfermline site said: “Amazon are a multi-billion pound company yet workers at the site here in Dunfermline are employed via agencies with little job security and of course few union rights. I'm glad to see Better than Zero raise some of these issues and demand that Amazon treats its workers with respect and pays them a decent wage.”
BtZ, founded by young trade unionists to campaign against exploitative working conditions including zero hours contracts and unpaid work. The demonstration marks the beginning of a season of efforts by campaigners to hit the Christmas profits of exploitative employers.
A spokesperson said “Amazon has it within its power to create a truly first class working environment, but this is always negated by the drive for bigger and better profits at all costs. It is always at the expense of the workers who are treated no better than drones. Workers who are treated as commodities to be used and abused for a few weeks then sent back into the arms of the DWP.”