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Progressives around the world demand Bezos pay his debts to workers and the planet

Campaigners demand Amazon improve its workers' pay and conditions, recognise workers' rights to organise, stop harming the environment, and stop supporting cops and immigration authorities

ACTIVISTS and progressive politicians around the world added their voices to a new international campaign today demanding the world’s richest man and his tax-dodging company pay its debts to workers, the planet and society at large.

Comprised of a coalition of global trade unions, climate, justice and human rights organisations and more from across the globe, the Make Amazon Pay movement issued a list of demands on Black Friday, normally the busiest shopping day of the year.

Restrictions imposed by governments the world over in their attempts to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic have resulted in a crisis for high street retailers and their employees but has hugely benefited online businesses like Amazon.

The trillion-dollar US company’s owner, Jeff Bezos, became the first person ever to amass more than $200 billion (£149.8bn) in personal wealth earlier this year. And last year, Amazon paid just 1.2 per cent tax in the US, where it is headquartered.

The company’s workers who have risked their lives in Amazon’s warehouses, however, only received a brief pay rise for working during the pandemic. A recent investigation by Vice News found the company had hired Pinkerton agents to spy on its workers’ involvement in labour and environmental campaigns.   

Make Amazon Pay’s demands on the company include raising workers’ pay, suspending its intrusive surveillance of workers, respecting workers’ right to organise, ending all forms of casual employment, stopping all sponsoring of climate change denial, paying taxes in full, ending partnerships with police forces and immigration authorities, and much more.

“Like all major corporations, Amazon’s success would be impossible without the public institutions that citizens built together over generations,” an accompanying statement to Make Amazon Pay’s demands reads.

“But instead of giving back to the societies that helped it grow, the corporation starves them of tax revenue through its world beating efforts at tax dodging.

“Amazon is not alone in these bad practices but it sits at the heart of a failed system that drives the inequality, climate breakdown and democratic decay that scar our age.”

Members of the global trade unions IndustriAll and Uni Global Union (both in the Make Amazon Pay coalition) and workers employed by the company or in its international supply chains from Bangladesh to Brazil staged demonstrations today demanding the company change its act.

For more on Make Amazon Pay visit: makeamazonpay.com.

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