Climate activists block Amazon UK department stores on Black Friday

Climate activists are blocking Amazon’s department stores across the UK on Friday in an attempt to pressure the e-commerce giant on one of the busiest days of the year to improve working conditions and end business practices that harm the environment.

Members of Extinction Rebellion targeted 13 Amazon fulfillment centers in the UK with the aim of disrupting 50 per cent of the company’s deliveries on Black Friday, marking the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season.

Activists blocked the entrance to Amazon’s warehouse in Tilbury, just east of London, with a picture of Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos sitting on top of a rocket.

At Amazon’s distribution center in Dunfermline, Scotland, about 20 Extinction Rebellion members put up banners across the driveway that read “Make Amazon Pay” and locked themselves together, preventing trucks from entering and some from leaving.

The group demands that Amazon provide better working conditions, clear environmental obligations, and that the company pay its fair share of taxes.

“The action is intended to draw attention to Amazon’s exploitative and environmentally damaging business practices, the violation of workers’ rights in the company’s profit name, as well as the wastefulness of Black Friday,” the group said.

Extinction Rebellion said it was part of a broader international effort also targeting Amazon fulfillment centers in the United States, Germany and the Netherlands.

Amazon did not directly address the protests in response to a request for comment, but said the company takes its responsibility “very seriously.”

“It includes our commitment to be a net zero carbon in 2040 – 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement – to provide excellent pay and benefits in a safe and modern working environment and to support the tens of thousands of UK small businesses selling in our store. , “said the company.

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