'We are not robots!': Amazon warehouse workers protest on Black Friday

Amazon warehouse workers are striking across Europe on Black Friday

It's not clear if the mass protests will affect delivery times for Black Friday shoppers in the UK.

Activists of French NGOs "Les Amis de la Terre" (Friends of the Earth) and ANV Cop21 dump trashed appliances in front of the French headquarters of U.S. online retailer Amazon on November 23, 2018 in Clichy, northwest of Paris, during a protest against the company and on the first day of the Black Friday sales.

"Employees now have to fill up the shelves for the Christmas business as well as send thousands of Black Friday offers". The union has been posting updates from the strike on social media under the hashtag #AmazonWeAreNotRobots.

"We are striking here because of poor working conditions", CGT Union member Moises Fernandez told Ruptly. "We are losing professional categories, we are losing occupational groups, they don't ensure us any wage guarantee".

A striking worker stands outside the entrance of an Amazon fulfillment centre in San Fernando de Henares, Spain, on November 23, 2018.

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Thousands of Amazon staff members across Europe were protesting on Black Friday over the way the company treats its warehouse workers. "They are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious and being taken away in ambulances", general secretary of the GMB union Tim Roache said in a statement. "It is one of the days that Amazon has most sales, and these are days when we can hurt more and make ourselves be heard", said Amazon employee Eduardo Hernandez in a statement to the Associated Press (AP). "People with kids, homes, bills to pay-they're not robots". "That's what we're campaigning for".

In Germany, workers walked off the job at Amazon facilities in Rheinberg and Bad Hersfeld, led by the ver.di union, which higher pay and a collective bargaining agreement for the company's employees. However, Amazon refuted the reports, saying that most of their staffers remain at their workplace.

"All of our sites are safe places to work and reports to the contrary are simply wrong".

"Our European Fulfillment Network is fully operational as we all remain focused on delivering the best customer experience for the peak season". The company has invested 27 billion euros and created more than 75,000 permanent jobs in Europe since 2010, it said in an email. 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.

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