On Black Friday, Unions Are Striking For a Better Deal

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It’s been a historic yr for labor motion—and it’s not over but.

Retail employees are strolling out throughout  the busiest procuring day of the yr, Black Friday, leveraging a weekend of big income for retailers to demand higher pay and dealing circumstances. 

Amazon employees in additional than 30 nations are putting this weekend as a part of the worldwide “Make Amazon Pay” campaign, protesting the retailer’s labor practices, low wages, and excessive emissions. The strike would quantity to “the largest day of industrial disruption in Amazon’s thirty-year history,” according to Amanda Gering, an organizer with the UK’s GMB union, which started strikes at Amazon earlier this month. This Black Friday marked the fourth yr globally that Amazon employees have deliberate strikes for this procuring weekend—an effort that started throughout Covid, when Amazon made record profits as employees struggled and, in some instances, died.

In Washington, about 4 hundred Macy’s workers from three completely different shops went on strike, starting their picket at 3:00 AM on Black Friday. Their union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, says that Macy’s isn’t doing sufficient to handle security threats like violent consumers and shoplifting, and that pay just isn’t maintaining with the price of dwelling. “Workers don’t feel safe in our store, and now they are scared of retaliation so they’ve stopped calling for help when they see a threat,” explained gross sales affiliate Liisa Luick in a launch from UFCW 3000. Azia Domingo, who has labored for Macy’s for 21 years, stated, “Macy’s is making billions of dollars and paying their CEO $11 million a year, but most of us workers are struggling to make ends meet…We shouldn’t have to question whether we can afford to have health insurance and go to the doctor.”

These Black Friday strikes cap off a historic yr of labor motion. In September, the United Auto Workers launched a historic strike on the nation’s three largest automakers. (Mother Jones’ rank-and-file workers, together with the creator of this put up, are represented by UAW Local 2103.)  In October, the biggest well being care strike in US historical past came about when 75,ooo Kaiser Permanente employees throughout 5 states and Washington, DC, walked out. Hollywood actors and writers spent virtually half the yr away from units and author’s rooms, demanding higher pay and protections round the usage of synthetic intelligence. 

“Workers know that it doesn’t matter what country you’re in or what your job title is,” stated General Secretary Cristy Hoffman of UNI, a global union federation which has employees collaborating on this weekend’s Amazon strike.  “We are all united in the fight for higher wages, an end to unreasonable quotas, and a voice on the job.”

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