For several years, Germany’s second-biggest labour union “ver.di” has been trying to advance collective agreements for workers of Amazon’s labour force. The US online-shopping giant has established almost slave-like working conditions. Besides precarious contracts and unreasonably low wages, workers are subjected to extreme physical strain – like having to walk some 20 kilometres during their shifts, as ordered by an electronic device. And yet, Amazon refuses to even negotiate with labour unions.
The outcome of this struggle will decide who sets Amazon’s working conditions: the company on its own, or its management in negotiation with the workers’ representatives.
Amazon is a perfect symbol of a new era of slave-labour under surveillance capitalism. Past strikes have been unsuccessful, especially because Amazon resorts to dumping its capacities to Poland and the Czech Republic, where workers are subjected to even lower wages. As a result, most consumers often are not even aware that there have been strikes in Amazon factories in Germany, or the workers’ struggle!
This year, various political groups and activists are organising around the #MakeAmazonPay campaign to bring public awareness and stand behind Amazon’s workers. And DiEM25 activists in Germany are joining them.
This is not about just Amazon or its abusive practices in Germany, Europe and indeed elsewhere, but also about a larger struggle in defence of the value of labour and restoring workers rights globally.
DiEM25’s manifesto spells out the need to tackle many issues at international level to move-past the current neoliberal trend, through sensible policies like our European New Deal. And while our movement will constructively forward its values for a more democratic Union everywhere, as well as at the ballots, we ought to join other forces’ efforts to bring awareness, and, if necessary, take the Establishment head on.
So help us expose what this new form of serfdom, driven by corporations relentless appetite for profits, means for us all.
Join us in this exercise of solidarity however you can:
- spread the #MakeAmazonPay message via social media (follow our DiEM25-Leipzig Twitter account for more info)
- come to the solidarity demonstration if you are in Leipzig – tomorrow, November 24 at 9.30am!
- join your nearest DiEM25 local group and help us develop policy, campaigns and actions to empower our Progressive Agenda for Europe…
- join DiEM25 if haven’t already!
We’re counting on you!
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