Amazon, a global digital trading giant and one of the most profitable companies in the world during the pandemic, would shift or be released from its responsibilities to workers, society and the environment.
This is the motto of the global campaign “Make Amazon Pay” (Make Amazon Pay, in the original, in English), which was launched last Black Friday, a kind of shopping carnival, based on the idea that it is time for Amazon to liquidate these accounts.
Signatories include Finnish Heidi Hautala, Vice-President of the European Parliament, US Congressmen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the Somali American who is the target of attacks by President Donald Trump and British worker Jeremy Corbyn.
Last week, 401 parliamentarians from 34 countries were approved, including 11 from Brazil, including Marcelo Freixo, Luiza Erundina and Áurea Carolina, from PSOL, and Natália Bonavides and Nito Tatto, from PT.
The campaign was supported by 50 organizations, such as Greenpeace, Oxfam and the Tax Justice Network. They came together through a joint meeting of UNI Global Union, a global trade union based in Switzerland, and Progressive International, a movement created by intellectuals such as the American linguist Noam Chomsky, the Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein, and the Greek economist. Yanis Varoufakis to formulate guidelines for solidarity, equality and sustainability.
In a letter to Jeff Bezos, the president of the Amazon and the richest man in the world, members of Congress say that “the days of Amazon’s impunity are numbered”. And they are asking the company to review its policies and priorities in relation to workers, their communities and the planet and make a public commitment to support the movement.
The document describes that Bezos’ personal assets due to the pandemic and the intensification of the online shop increased by about 13 million US dollars (R $ 66 million) per hour in 2020, while his “employees maintained dangerous working conditions, with little or no pay rise, and are facing retaliation for efforts to organize colleagues and defend the interests of employees. “
The letter states that the company’s carbon dioxide emissions are higher than in several countries around the world, that the global giant’s monopoly methods harm local companies and that the company’s internet services use user data disrespectfully.
Asked by the report, Amazon said in a note that “the issues raised in this letter stem from a series of misleading statements from ill-informed groups.” According to the company, Amazon supports employees, customers and communities and promotes “secure working conditions, competitive wages and great benefits”, in addition to paying billions of tax dollars globally.
Two weeks ago, Bezos announced the creation of a $ 10 billion (more than $ 50 billion) fund for climate change research.
For at least two years, Black Friday has been marked by protests and strikes by Amazon workers in various parts of the world. They report what they perceive as strenuous and underpaid working conditions with unrealistic expectations of productivity.
In 2018, the British journalist James Bloodworth released the book “Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Low Britain” (Atlantic Books), where he describes what it was like to work in an Amazon warehouse where employees according to him are subject to disciplinary regime. which refers to the prison system and where sick leave is discounted.