Against Amazon and its world

Call to turn Black Friday 2019 into a “Black day for Amazon”

Customer satisfaction is the obsession flaunted by Jeff Bezos’, head of Amazon, the e-commerce giant with some 180 million references. Its strategy : « day one », i.e. maximising the speed of parcel preparation to deliver in less than a day, less than an hour and perhaps less than half an hour thanks to delivery drones. Its ambition : to create a complete ecosystem with connected houses, e-books, music, series, films... to generate more and more orders for its products at low prices. But behind the hero of neoliberalism 2.0 lies a vision of the world we must oppose.

A world that destroys the environment. Despite Jeff Bezos’ recent promises on renewable energy or offsetting its emissions, Amazon’s world remains an ecological disaster. The corporation sold more than 11 billion products last year. Its low prices, its daily offers boost over-consumption and contribute to the increase in CO2 emissions by intensifying resource extraction and transport by boat, plane or truck. Amazon is also the world leader in the cloud and its data centres generated as many greenhouse gases as Portugal in 2018.

A world without jobs. It is estimated that for every job created by Jeff Bezos’ firm, two jobs are lost in the commercial sector. Amazon employees, many of whom hold temporary jobs, perform tasks that are timed by the algorithms in their scanners. In its new warehouses, they become the assistants of 100,000 order-picking robots. And soon, the delivery people, many of whom are already uberised, could be replaced by drones.

A world without taxation and democracy. Avoiding taxes and legal constraints is a real obsession for the libertarian Jeff Bezos. As a well-established transnational company, Amazon reports its profits in tax havens such as Luxembourg in Europe or Delaware in the United States. In France, Amazon unilaterally announced that it would be passing on the low GAFA tax to its suppliers. In Seattle, its headquarters, Amazon has had a tax on multinationals in favour of the homeless cancelled, despite the fact that it was unanimously passed by the city council.

Twelve years after the opening of its first French warehouse in Saran (Loiret), Amazon and Cédric O, Secretary of State for Digital Technology, inaugurated a giant warehouse equipped with 4,000 robots in Brétigny-sur-Orge in Essonne. New warehouses are to be built in Fournes in the Gard and near Metz in Moselle. The jobs promised by Amazon are blinding elected officials and members of the government who are more concerned with cutting ribbons than with the disappearance of thousands of local businesses that provide jobs and social bonds all over France.

This world will once again be made manifest next Friday, November 29th with the shopping spree of « Black Friday ». A few weeks before Christmas, this day of drastic discounts incites consumers to acquire millions of products they don’t necessarily need. Black Friday is one of the drivers of the strategy of knocked-down prices and sales at a loss that has enabled Amazon to become the leading textile and electronics retailer in France. This vision of the world is in total contradiction with the deep aspiration to a decent life on a habitable planet, expressed in particular by yellow vests or climate marchers.

It is urgent to stop the construction of new Amazon and other e-commerce companies’ facilities and to rally for the development of a local economy that creates jobs, generates social solidarity and is compatible with climate’s pressing needs. To convey this demand and no longer let Amazon overlook social and environmental rights, we are calling for Black Friday 2019 to be turned into a « Black day for Amazon ». On November 29, we will take civic action throughout France to disrupt Amazon’s business and promote alternatives to free more and more people from its harmful grip.


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