A global movement demanding better wages at Amazon reaches Quebec

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A global movement demanding better wages at Amazon reaches Quebec

Former employees decry harsh working conditions at Amazon.

Former Amazon.com workers and union organizers have visited some of the e-commerce giant's Quebec sites on Friday as part of a global movement urging the company to stop “pinning down” workers, communities and the planet.

Mostafa Henaway, a former Amazon worker and Immigrant Worker Center union activist, said he and others would approach workers at the YUL2 and DXT6 facilities in Lachine to remind them of their rights and encourage their employer to do better.

We are here today, along with other Amazon associates around the world, to say enough is enough. said Mr. Henaway, who worked at the DTX4 delivery center in Laval.

At what cost do we have fast and free delivery?

The visit, scheduled for Black Friday – one of the busiest times responsible for the Seattle-based company – aims to push the company to pay fair wages and taxes and to better consider its impact on the environment.

It's part of the Make Amazon Pay movement, which will see Amazon workers and workers' rights groups in at least 30 countries, including the US and England, strike or protest. come together to support fair wages and climate change action.

Workers in these countries decry alleged wage cuts as Amazon reaps record revenues. The company pays no income tax in Europe and saw its CO2 emissions increase by 18% last year.

For workers and consumers, all prices go up. And for everyone else, the temperature is globally getting hotter and our planet is under pressure, reads the Make Amazon Pay website.

“But rather than supporting its employees, communities and the planet, Amazon squeezes them to the last drop. »

—Make Amazon Pay

In response, Amazon spokeswoman Kristin Gable pointed out that the company is investing significantly in all areas the protesters criticize.

L& #x27;company is committed to being carbon neutral by 2040 and offers competitive wages and excellent benefits while inventing ways to keep staff healthy and safe, a- she added.

Although we are not perfect in any area, if we look objectively at what Amazon is doing on these important issues, we see that we take our role and our impact very seriously, she argued.

< p class="e-p">Mr. Henaway, who wrote an expose about the month he worked for the company in 2021, disagrees.

He said new hires were bombarded with perks and felt it was meant to make them feel like the company was making history, but they were slowly becoming exhausted from Amazon's demands.

It's expensive to do the same job, minute after minute, second after second, he claimed.

There is this constant rush to complete tasks in a given time, and we are constantly monitored.

The pressure is even greater on Black Friday, which he describes as one of the busiest days at Amazon, outside of the December holiday season.

“Amazon creates a system where you are told you are special, you are part of the family and at the end of the day, you are sort of kicked out if you don't meet certain quotas.

— Mostafa Henaway, former Amazon worker

Several have complained about Amazon's labor practices in the past.

In 2019, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 175 in Canada (TUAC Canada) has accused an Amazon fulfillment subsidiary of engaging in unfair labor practices by encouraging contractors not to support unionization.

Contractors who had workers willing to unionize saw their contracts drastically reduced, resulting in layoffs, closures and bankruptcies.

< p class="e-p">On Monday, a US judge ordered the company to stop retaliating against employees engaged in workplace activism, after the National Council of labor relations had sued Amazon to force the company to reinstate a New York warehouse worker who had been laid off for his union activities.

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