To coincide with the Amazon shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday, May 26, activists will stage a protest outside Amazon’s Fashion Studio in Shoreditch to highlight the corporation’s shocking association with poor treatment and anti-union tactics around the world.
Garment workers are some of the lowest paid workers in the world; Jeff Bezos the founder and CEO of Amazon is the world’s richest.
Workers in Bangladesh and Cambodia working in the Amazon supply chain have been the victims of shocking treatment in the midst of the global pandemic.
Unite, together with Global union Uni, is calling on Amazon to respect labour rights around the world.
In the UK, Unite is calling on the company to make a clear commitment and sign up to a declaration of neutrality. The declaration would guarantee Amazon workers the freedom to talk with and form a union without fear.
Unite executive officer Sharon Graham said: “As Amazon’s shareholders meet, campaigners in the UK are showing solidarity with workers in Cambodia and Bangladesh where Amazon is associated with the truly shocking treatment of some of the poorest workers in the world.
“Whether it’s the UK, Cambodia, Bangladesh or the USA, Amazon is associated with anti-union tactics and poor treatment. It’s time for Amazon’s shareholders to demand action to deliver better rights for Amazon workers.
“Workers and campaigners for social justice are in a battle with Amazon on a global scale to protect workers’ rights. It’ a battle that we are determined win, the alternative is the continued global race to the bottom.”
The #PayYourWorkers campaign demand that Amazon and other apparel brands and retailers, including Nike and Next:
- Pay the workers who make their clothes their full wages for the duration of the pandemic;
- Make sure workers are never again left penniless if their factory goes bankrupt, by signing onto a negotiated severance guarantee fund; and
- Protect workers’ right to organise and bargain collectively.
In 2015 Amazon opened its multi-million pound Amazon Fashion European Photography Studio in Shoreditch, London to provide fashion imagery for Europe. The studio is one of the largest of its kind in Europe.
By Ciaran Naidoo