French protesters deliver a message to Amazon as sales backlash gathers pace

Daniel Fowler
December 2, 2019

Similar protests against Amazon erupted in other European countries, including Germany, where workers from six distribution centres staged a walkout over pay and conditions.

A woman walks past a tram advertising Black Friday in Prague, Czech Republic, on Thursday.

French retailers have embraced Black Friday, named for the sales held on the first Friday after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday when retailers typically heavily discount their goods to spur business.

In an emailed statement, Amazon France said it respected the rights of people to express their opinions but that did not extend to organizing violent demonstrations where people work.

The Extinction Rebellion campaign group posted on Twitter images of protesters being forcibly removed by police from the Lyon site.

People don't celebrate Thanksgiving in France, or Russian Federation, or South Africa - but they do shop on Black Friday. France's e-commerce union, whose members are aggressively marketing Black Friday sales throughout November, has condemned the measure.

Among other concerns is that Black Friday could hurt small businesses that do not have the vast marketing budgets and online sales presence of big retail chains or multinationals. That strike is expected to last until at least Monday.

"Their work can not be had at rock-bottom prices", Verdi said in a statement, demanding a collective labour agreement to ensure "a living wage and good, healthy jobs".

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The department said North Korean officials at the conference appeared to show particular interest in Griffith's presentation. Additionally, he encouraged other US citizens to travel to North Korea to attend the same conference, as well as in 2020.

Environmentalists have accused Amazon of accelerating climate change through its rapid delivery services, which they say contribute to greenhouse gases emissions.

In the Netherlands, Students for Climate called for a human chain in Maastricht.

To many activists, Black Friday is the epitome of this shift, a purely commercial event created to boost USA retailers ahead of the Christmas holidays, the symbol of capitalism run amok.

Analysis by a United Kingdom shopper affiliation discovered that 61 p.c of products marketed in Black Friday offers final 12 months have been cheaper or about the identical worth each earlier than and after the occasion.

In Spain, protesters also put up a banner in the heart of Madrid that read: "Consumerism = climate crisis".

Faced with the backlash, Amazon France's managing director Frederic Duval defended the company's record on the environment.

He also said that Amazon France would step up efforts to ensure that unsold goods were given to charity, following reports that many unsold items are destroyed by the company.

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