Amazon's European workers go on strike for Black Friday

Amazon's European workers go on strike for Black Friday
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Some of Amazon's European employees walked out in protest of unfair work conditions to coincide with Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

Protesters left Amazon.com facilities all over the continent, including Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy.

Labor groups in Madrid told The Associated Press that 90 percent of workers at a logistics depot near the city walked out. Douglas Harper of the CCOO trade union confederation said that only two employees were at the loading dock.

In the UK, union officials representing Amazon workers released a statement that hundreds were expected to protest at the five locations across the country.

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“Jeff Bezos is the richest bloke on the planet; he can afford to sort this out," said Tim Roache, general secretary of GMB.

"You'd think making the workplace safer so people aren't carted out of the warehouse in an ambulance is in everyone’s interest, but Amazon seemingly have no will to get round the table with us as the union representing hundreds of their staff."

In Germany, workers walked off the job at Amazon distribution centers in two cities as part of a years-long push for higher pay, according to ver.di union said.

An Amazon spokesperson said that the company's fulfillment services remained "fully operational" on Friday amid the reported the walkouts.

“Our European Fulfillment Network was fully operational on Friday as our associates focused on delivering for our customers,” Stuart Jackson, a spokesman for Amazon's European operation, told The Hill. “Any reports to the contrary are simply wrong.”

“Amazon is a fair and responsible employer,” he continued. “We believe in continuous improvement across our network and maintain an open and direct dialogue with our associates. Amazon has invested over 27 billion EUR and created over 75,000 permanent jobs across Europe since 2010. These are good jobs with highly competitive pay, full benefits, and innovative training programs like Career Choice that pre-pays 95% of tuition for associates.”

Amazon has been in the spotlight over the last year for its wage practices and market dominance, attracting criticism from lawmakers in both parties and from President Trump.

The company eventually announced in October that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour in the U.S., but then removed several incentives in worker's salaries.

Updated: Nov. 24 at 9:12 a.m.