Black Friday: time to break up Amazon

This ‘Black Friday’, the ITUC is joining a global movement calling for urgent action to deal with the serial, corporate abuse of Amazon.

Governments and regulators must step in to stop Amazon:

  • abusing its dominant market position
  • squeezing small and medium-sized businesses
  • dragging down conditions for working people
  • not paying its fair share of tax

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: "There are simple solutions to all of our demands, but it is clear that Amazon cannot reform itself. It’s become too big to change its ways, it must be broken up.

“If anything, as Amazon gets bigger, the abuses get worse as we discoverits secret program of surveillance and systematic anti-union and anti-worker practices. There is only one way to fix this: break up Amazon.”

The ITUC is joining a global coalition to #MakeAmazonPay. The group includes UNI Global Union, Progressive International, environmentalists, tax watchdogs and dozens of civil society organizations.

The coalition has made 23 Common Demands, in five areas:

  1. Improve the workplace.
  2. Provide job security to all.
  3. Respect workers’ universal rights.
  4. Operate sustainably.
  5. Pay back to society.

Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union’s General Secretary, said: “Amazon is a clear and present danger for our societies. But no one alone can win on the many fronts where Amazon is problematic – not only workers’ rights, but digital surveillance, tax avoidance, climate change, fair markets. Now is the time to come together as a global movement to make Amazon pay. Amazon must change. We can unite and win. I know this because we’ve done it before.”

In the ITUC Global Poll 2020 there was broad support for increased tax and regulation of large international tech companies, such as Amazon, with many people thinking that these companies have had a negative effect on workers, society and data protection.

"It is at times like this that working people everywhere need their governments and regulators to take action. We know that Amazon cannot change, if it could it would have done so by now. We are asking governments to do their job and step in to stop Amazon acting with corporate impunity. It’s time to break up Amazon”, added Sharan Burrow.