Amazon Hit by Walkouts and Black Friday Protests

-edited

Protesters across Europe are upset with Amazon over wages, robots, and the environmental impact of 1-day delivery.

The BBC reports Amazon Protests Erupt Across

Germany

  • Workers at six Amazon distribution centres in Germany have staged a Black Friday walkout in a dispute over pay and conditions. The union Verdi, which called the strike, said its members' hard work could not be bought for "knock-down prices".
  • German workers walked out overnight at Amazon centres in Leipzig, Bad Hersfeld, Koblenz, Rheinberg, Werne and Graben. The strike is due to last all weekend, with employees at some centres staying away until early Tuesday morning.

France

  • At the online retailer's depot in Bretigny-sur-Orge, south of Paris, dozens of climate change activists blocked the path of lorries trying to enter the site.
  • Other protesters converged on Amazon's French headquarters in Clichy, north of Paris. The activists held banners with slogans including "Stop Amazon and its world" and "Amazon: for the climate, for employment, stop expanding, stop overproduction".

Ban Black Friday

  1. An "anti-waste" bill was amended to include a proposal to prohibit Black Friday by a French legislative committee on Monday. France's former Environment Minister Delphine Batho tabled the amendment, which will be debated next month in the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament.
  2. "Black Friday celebrates a model of consumption that is anti-ecological and anti-social," said MP Mattieu Orphelin, a former member of President Emmanuel Macron's LREM party.
  3. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is considering implementing new regulations to protect the climate, including a tax on deliveries to ease traffic jams and pollution caused by Amazon and other companies.

Billions of Satisfied Customers

Amazon ships around 10 billion packages per year

But environmentalists accuse Amazon of accelerating climate change through its rapid delivery services, which they say contribute to greenhouse gases emissions.

Amazon a Godsend

Amazon is a godsend. It is popular for a reason. Billions of buyers and deliveries prove it.

Banning Black Friday is of course the exact sort of proposal one would expect from French MPs.

I strongly suspect some of these people protesting Amazon also protested the gas tax hikes by president Macron that led to Yellow Vest French Riots that went on for months.

Recall that Macron raised gas taxes to save the environment then was forced to roll them back.

US Corporations for a Reason

France has zero of the Top 25 Technology Companies. The US has the top four (Facebook is ahead of Tencent in that list).

Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Intel are US corporations for a reason.

France and the EU would bust up all of those companies in the name of competition, resulting in inefficiency and more than likely increasing carbon emissions as well.

Regardless, rest assured the world will not be saved by stopping Amazon.

Great Strength of the US

For further discussion of innovation, ideas, and the great strength of the US, please consider Trump's Impossible Fight to Stop Theft of Ideas.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (64)
No. 1-23
Ted R
Ted R

The people in France always seem to need a reason to complain and bitch about something.

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

Amazon is rarely the lowest price.

I usually go there first to get benchmark ... and then find it (usually MUCH) cheaper elsewhere.

Amazon practices dynamic pricing (as many other online retailer) which I find utter BS.

Stuki
Stuki

I wonder if any of these "climate" protesters have stopped to ponder what the chances are, that each and every current Amazon customer instead driving to the store/mall by themselves to pick up their goods, will combined somehow manage to beat UPS et al in fuel efficiency....

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

"Amazon is a godsend. It is popular for a reason."

It depends on the viewpoint. Amazon doesnt compete fairly as they collect information on what sells and sell something amazon branded by the same manufacturer for less. Amazon is not a level playing field. It needs to be broken up because it is becoming a virtual monopoly. No venture or investments are allowed to compete against any of the FAANG companies. This is the also part of the reason why small businesses are flailing during a supposed boom.

Aaaal
Aaaal

Doesn't AMZN pay zero taxes? What business couldn't be successful not having to pay taxes? Besides gov't.

Mish
Mish

Editor

The ideal US corporate tax rate is zero. Instead we have zero or very low tax rates overseas (encouraging capital flight, production flight, etc), and higher taxes in the US. It's nuts. At a minimum the tax rate ought to be lower in the US than outside the US.

Mish
Mish

Editor

It does not matter if Amazon has the lowest price. What matters is people like the convenience. Amazon won in the marketplace because people like it.

SpeedyGeezer
SpeedyGeezer

"Let's break up the big technology companies". I vaguely recall hearing that in the US recently. Nah!! Must be my mind playing tricks with me.

avidremainer
avidremainer

Amazon are a pain in the arse. We are the only retired couple in the close, which means we are more likely to be in during the week. The drivers used to knock on our door and see if we would look after the parcel or whatever. It stopped when I decided to say yes but wanted £10, payable immediately, for services rendered.

Snow_Dog
Snow_Dog

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world. With his money he can afford to buy anything he wants.

He bought The Washington Post newspaper.

Bastiat
Bastiat

Might not last for much longer. Democrats sound much worse than any French MP I've heard.

Greggg
Greggg

They protest their jobs instead of quitting. Interesting.

Webej
Webej

They're only mentioning climate change for the green-wash, just like all the corporate ads. What they're protesting is E X P L O I T A T I O N. The same dynamic that has gutted Main Street all over US towns, and turned aging shop-keepers into minimum wage Wall-Mart greeters selling Chinese stuff.

Yes Yes Yes, I know the theory. In a free society where property rights are the highest form of worship, exploitation is theoretically impossible -- everybody is freely choosing to live in an 8 m² apartment for $1500/mo and all of us love Wall-Mart and Chinese crap.

The examples (Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Intel) are all quasi monopolies who never skip an opportunity to not pay taxes or engage in anti-competitive practices if the penalties are feeble enough, anti-democratic and exploitative to the core, the hell with any law if it is expedient to break it.

JavaMe
JavaMe

...and Greta wants to know what Amazon is going to do about climate change LOL

Carl_R
Carl_R

The environmental question is interesting. Which uses more energy: A. A big warehouse, a shipping system to get the goods to the end city, and tens of drivers to deliver the packages. B. A number of smaller warehouses, a variety of smaller shipping systems to get the goods to various stores in the end city, operating various stores, fuel used by the retail employees to get to said stores, fuel used by thousands of customers to get to various stores, buy the merchandise, and then to bring it to their homes.

My guess is that A is much more environmentally efficient than B.

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

People can oppose consumerism, but at some level one MUST consume to live.

ksdude69
ksdude69

I personally use walmart delivery for the most part. I have a lot of animals and an elder to take care of and work fulltime. On top of that, I live rural and closest store is 16 miles away and they are too expensive and closest walmart is over 20. It's been a godsend. I still shop for food, but sure is nice having 50lb bags of dog food, among many other items, dropped off at the door. Seems more efficient as well.

CautiousObserver
CautiousObserver

These days Amazon is its own worst enemy.

They were a godsend when their search algorithms did an excellent job of sorting relevant products and product reviews. I could almost always find product I was looking for in the first or second page of results. Today that is not true. I can enter detailed keywords and not find what I want in any of their results. Yet, if I then type an exact make and model, the product often appears where it was previously invisible. Something in their search has been seriously broken. I heard a rumor they did this to selectively sell higher margin products. Okay, I understand they want to increase their margins, but what good is that when customers can no longer find what they are looking for?

crazyworld
crazyworld

Over-here most people agree Amazon to be a great improvement in order to be able to find products we cant find in local stores at an acceptable price .

However as far as I am concerned I buy regularly at Ali-express and Ali-Baba where I usually can get a lot of good quality products often at less than half the price shipping and import (VAT 21 per cent) included. Indeed most products are now produced in China and a lot of these ones are bought by middle-men who sell them back at Amazon or E-bay with a huge margin.

abend237-04
abend237-04

Cosmic scale stupidity anchored in earth worship dogma. I'd bet that a room of third graders could answer the following question correctly, "Is it friendlier for the environment to have one truck deliver 500 small packages locally or for 500 vehicles to make individual round trips?"

awc13
awc13

bunch of nanny state social dimwits. problem is that if you get enough of them together they can be very dangerous, like germany in the 30s and 40s

Pater_Tenebrarum
Pater_Tenebrarum

As someone who is de facto stuck at home for health reasons, it is more than just a convenience, it is indeed a godsend. And I'm all for Amazon availing itself of legal tax avoidance to the greatest possible extent, since that is one of the factors keeping its prices at a low level. To my mind this is a greater benefit than handing more loot to politicians and faceless bureaucrats.

GlennH
GlennH

Wasn't this what happened to Walmart in Germany as well? they never went back I believe.