‘We’re not robots’: Amazon employees protest across Europe on Black Friday

Protesters outside Amazon's warehouse in Milton Keynes UK

‘We’re not robots’: Amazon employees protest across Europe on Black Friday

Workers at several Amazon warehouses across Europe protested for better conditions on Black Friday, though the tech giant says it's "business as usual" at its network of European distribution centers.

'What we're saying is Jeff Bezos, you're the richest man in the world, you have the wealth and ability to make sure your workers are treated with respect and dignity, ' Rix said.

However, Amazon Spain said the figures did not reflect reality and a majority of employees were processing orders.

Earlier this year, the UK-based group said a Freedom of Information request aimed at first-responders showed that ambulances had responded to calls for help at Amazon facilities roughly 600 times over the past three years.

The dispute erupted as thousands of Amazon workers across Europe staged strikes on Black Friday in protest of warehouse working conditions.

Amazon disputed reports that upwards of 90 percent of workers at a warehouse in Spain walked off the job.

An Amazon protester in Madrid
‘We’re not robots’: Amazon employees protest across Europe on Black Friday

The deals presented in various Black Friday sales can easily be blinding, saving incredible amounts of cash on tech, clothing and various other bits and bobs that would otherwise go overlooked. "These are people making Amazon its money".

The demonstrations look meant to not only apply pressure on Amazon to accept collective bargaining but encourage users of its website to think about the wider costs involved in packing and despatching the discounted products they're trying to grab. The protesters claim the company treats them like "robots", citing bad safety record and low wages.

In a statement, Amazon pushed back at the union complaints. "That's what we're campaigning for", Roache continues. But Amazon claims the work sites are logistics centers and pay well for that sector, The Associated Press reported.

In October, facing rising political pressure on its home turf after senator Bernie Sanders introduced legislation targeting low rates of pay at the coal face of Amazon's business, the ecommerce giant said it would raise the minimum wage of its U.S. workers to $15 per hour. "Amazon has invested over 27 billion euros ($30.6 billion) and created over 75,000 permanent jobs across Europe since 2010".

In its statement, though, Amazon said employees had "a competitive salary, complete package of benefits and innovative training programmes". It cited data from the UK's Health and Safety Executive stating it "has over 40% fewer injuries on average than other transportation and warehousing companies in the United Kingdom".

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