E-commerce giant Amazon has been hit by a global protest from its workers and activists on Black Friday, a US-originated sales day that has since become a global event in the wake of online shopping. 

Make Amazon Pay is the name of the collective group of efforts against Amazon and has been organised by UNI Global Union, a union collective that represents workers across 150 countries. 

Workers are protesting the working conditions in Amazon warehouses, Amazon’s refusal to pay taxes despite its momentous revenue and its carbon emissions. 

Alongside a worker strike in Germany, England and the US, Amazon’s parcel lockers will also be targeted by activists in France. 

French activist association Attac stated that it expects more than 100 lockers to be targeted with posters and tape, rendering them unusable. 

In its 2023, research company GlobalData’s thematic intelligence report on e-commerce found that Amazon was the biggest hirer in the sector between 2021 and 2023, closing over 50,000 job postings. 

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By GlobalData

The tech giant was predominantly hiring in Australia, Brazil, Europe, India, Mexico and the US. 

The Covid-19 pandemic saw an increase in e-commerce hiring across all sectors as the demand for delivery services and virtual products such as streaming and video conferencing increased, but the sector was still hit by massive lay-offs during 2022. 

Former Amazon warehouse employee Darren Westwood wrote for the Guardian this February about his working conditions at the company’s Coventry warehouse. 

“We are treated worse than the robots doing automated tasks in the warehouses,” he wrote. “If the robots have an issue, the company pays for them to be serviced, whereas if we drop below certain targets multiple times, we can be fired – we have to sort it out or get out.” 

Westwood’s account stated that Amazon workers are timed on their toilet breaks and face continual surveillance during their working hours. 

He stated that Amazon refused to pay its warehouse workers a £15-an-hour wage despite the hard hours they work and the cost of living crisis facing Britain.  

According to GlobalData forecasts, the global e-commerce market grew from $2.5trn in 2016 to $5.9trn in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate of 15%. 

By 2027, GlobalData expects the e-commerce market to be worth $9.3trn. 

Our signals coverage is powered by GlobalData’s Thematic Engine, which tags millions of data items across six alternative datasets – patents, jobs, deals, company filings, social media mentions and news – to themes, sectors and companies. These signals enhance our predictive capabilities, helping us to identify the most disruptive threats across each of the sectors we cover and the companies best placed to succeed.