New Amazon Anonymous campaign launches
55,000 demand Amazon pays a ‘Living Wage’
A new campaign targeting Amazon's poverty pay and tax avoidance was launched today with a petition handed in at their offices in London.
Over 55,000 people had signed the online petition asking the company to pay its warehouse workers a living wage.
Hand-in: Campaign coordinator Emily Kenway outside Amazon's office in Holborn.
A new website that aims to galvanise the growing dissent against Amazon's operations was also launched today.
The Amazon Anonymous website, which features Ethical Consumer's alternatives to Amazon guides, offers consumers and workers a "recovery program" to help give up their addiction to Amazon.
The campaign, which has backing from a range for organisations including Ethical Consumer, the GMB union and UK Uncut, aims to illustrate the ‘human cost of Amazon’s business model.’
The site will act as a hub for anti-Amazon activism, organising actions, providing access to alternative vendors, and contact points for Amazon workers who wish to unionise.
The latest wave of protests against Amazon began before Christmas when it was revealed that thousands of warehouse staff were being paid below the Living Wage.
Emily Kenway, who started the petition against Amazon, said: “Since starting the petition in December and seeing the overwhelming feeling against Amazon, I’ve been collecting stories from real Amazon workers and ex-workers about their warehouse experiences. These stories illustrate the human cost of Amazon’s business model; a cost that is all too dear. “
She continues “I’ve started Amazon Anonymous with the help of friends because it’s time to take coordinated action against this company. We want to act in coalition and finally make this company see sense.”
You can listen to our interview with Emily below.
Worker and civil society backing
The campaign is also backed by a number of Amazon workers (who wished to remain anonymous for fear of loosing their jobs). Their testimonies on working conditions in Amazon warehouses are damning.
They tell of a Dickensian working environment where “At interview [workers are] told union members would be dismissed” and after a “work related injury and I was given points for being off sick and sent home.”
Martin Smith, National Organiser at GMB union:
"At the moment Amazon only offers "jobs of last resort" to the communities where they build their warehouses. We urge all staff at Amazon to join GMB to protect their job and join the campaign for better pay, secure working hours and a safe workplace."
Paul Long, a spokesperson for UK Uncut added that,
“Amazon is a hugely wealthy company who could afford to pay their workers a decent wage and could afford to pay their taxes. However, they choose to exploit their workforce and to avoid tax: last year Amazon’s corporation tax bill was just £2.44m (on £4.2bn in sales)– less than the £2.5m it received from the Scottish Government in inducements to build a new distribution warehouse in Dunfermline.”
See the petition hand-in video below.
Visit the new Amazon Anonymous website (opens in a new window).
Find out more about our tax justice campaign including our boycott of Amazon.
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