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Amazon faces heat of workers on Cyber Monday soon after Black Friday protests

Prachi Gupta

US-based e-commerce portal Amazon has been drawing constant ire from various labour groups, activists and environmentalists and they are holding protests against the online retailer around the globe. The latest is the Cyber Monday protests in which demonstrators rallied at billionaire Jeff Bezos' private residence in New York City, Bloomberg reported. Merely days after protestors in France alleged that Amazon's rapid delivery service is contributing to climate crisis, dozens of critics gathered outside Jeff Bezos' penthouse to draw attention towards a gamut of issues such as dismal workers' conditions, climate concerns, and privacy and data worries. Several US politicians including American President Donald Trump, and Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have also called out Amazon for labour woes.

While Amazon is gearing up for the opening of more cashier-less convenience stores called Amazon Go, a US-based labour union also criticised the e-tailer and said that Amazon's move will render millions jobless along with shaking the country's retail industry. "Amazon has one agenda-to eliminate as many jobs as possible to enrich one multi-billionaire, Jeff Bezos," the labour union United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), had said in a statement recently. 

Labour unions and Amazon workers have been protesting for quite some time now and the protests are usually held around holidays and festive season. During Amazon's Prime Day sales In July 2019, employees of the retailer held protests around the globe demanding safer working conditions, secure employment and better wages. A UK trade union called GMB Union said that the aim of the protest was to draw attention to "the appalling conditions our members work under at the company," adding that "Amazon workers want Jeff Bezos to know they are people – not robots," GMB Union tweeted in July.  

Meanwhile in India, a trade union representing seven crore Indian traders held mass protests against foreign e-commerce channels such as Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart alleging deep discounts and predatory pricing. The union also said that the e-tailers have caused a massive loss to local traders and indigenous talent.