POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Protestors picket Amazon as shareholders reject proposals



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“Make Amazon Pay” protest in Luxembourg, 26 May 2020. Image credit: Make Amazon Pay on Facebook 

A dozen activists gathered outside of Amazon’s Luxembourg headquarters in Kirchberg on Wednesday, protesting against the e-commerce giant’s global tax strategy and working conditions.

The “Make Amazon Pay” campaign group describes itself on Facebook as a “campaign in solidarity with Amazon workers and critical of Amazon’s business model and its dangerous impact on society.”

Wednesday’s demonstration, held in solidarity with Amazon workers worldwide, coincided with the last shareholders meeting under Jeff Bezos’ leadership as CEO. According to CNBC, during the online meeting shareholders voted down 11 proposals calling on Amazon to take action on issues including climate change, working conditions and racial and gender disparities in the workplace.

The issue of warehouse conditions was also raised at last year’s shareholder meeting.

An Amazon spokesperson told Delano on Thursday that Amazon had “become a beacon for organisations wanting to raise awareness for their causes. The fact is we offer excellent pay, excellent benefits, excellent opportunities for career growth and, most importantly, all while working in a safe, modern work environment.

“Amazon pays all the taxes required in every country where we operate. We’ve invested well over €78 billion in Europe since 2010,  and much of that investment is in infrastructure--we now have 60 fulfilment centres, over 100 corporate offices and development centres, and over 135,000 full-time employees across Europe.”

On Tuesday, the Washing DC Attorney General Karl Racine announced he is suing Amazon on antitrust grounds, claiming the firm’s practices have unfairly raised consumer prices and suppressed innovation. He claims Amazon illegally maintained monopoly power through pricing contract with third-party sellers. An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC that sellers set their own prices for the products they offer in store.