Against Amazon: an international struggle

What are the forms of solidarity, of transnational coordination against Amazon?

Martha : A network has been set up at the international level, Amazon Workers International (AWI). It materialized just before the pandemic at a meeting in Spain. Bonds were forged when workers in Poland refused to replace their striking German counterparts. Now we have links in many countries, with people organized in unions or not. We created new activist relationships in Poland with the “Amazon must pay” campaign on Black Friday. Amazon must pay for wages, for taxes, for environmental impact and respect data protection. We organized a warehouse blockade in Wroclaw. On this occasion we worked with Greenpeace and we wish to continue this type of collaboration. Previously, environmental organizations and trade unions fought on their own.

Stephane : There is competition between warehouses and between countries at Amazon: when employees mobilize in one place, the company switches the activity to other sites. The question of going on strike at the same time seems necessary to overcome these manipulations. We find in the Amazon international coordination trade unions, but also groups of employees who are more in touch with NGOs. AWI organizes international meetings between workers from Poland, France, Germany, Spain, USA, Slovakia, Italy and Great Britain. A meeting was held from 23 to 25 September in Poznań, and a second is scheduled for Bad Hersfeld at the end of March. Claims may vary from country to country. In Germany, for example, the sensitive subject was rather wages; in Poland, it was repression. In the United States, the big news is the creation of the first Amazon union in a warehouse in New York: Amazon Labor Union (ALU). This historic first was celebrated in June 2022, during the Labor Notes meeting, bringing together trade unionists from all walks of life and from different countries in Chicago. Many Amazon workers were able to meet and organize there.

Words adapted from the book of interviews: A world in struggle published by Attac (2021)

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