As Bezos Becomes Richest Man in Recorded History, Amazon Workers Go on Strike

“The message is clear—while the online giant gets rich, it is saving money on the health of its workers.”

(CD— Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has just become the richest man in recorded history—surpassing $150 billion in net worth—thanks to his business model of subjecting employees to low wages, brutal working conditions, and scant benefits, and on Tuesday Amazon workers throughout Europe are marking “Prime Day” by walking off the job in massive numbers to call attention to their plight.

In addition to walkouts by 80 percent of the workers at Amazon’s largest distribution center in Spain—nearly 1,800 workers—employees of the  retailer are also launching strikes in Germany, France, Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom to demand higher wages and denounce Amazon’s union-busting efforts.

“The message is clear—while the online giant gets rich, it is saving money on the health of its workers,” Stefanie Nutzenberger, spokesperson for the German services union Verdi, said in a statement.

Strikes against Amazon’s notoriously appalling working conditions—which include forcing warehouse employees to skip bathroom breaks and urinate in bottles to meet the company’s unrealistic performance expectations—come as Bezos is coming under growing pressure to address his treatment of employees.

As Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) pointed out in his “CEOs vs. Workers” town hall Monday night—which Bezos declined to attend—the Amazon chief earns around $275 million each day while refusing to pay his workers enough to get by without food stamps.

Seth King, a former Amazon employee who participated in the town hall, described Amazon’s business model as “a revolving door of bodies” and said workers are “not allowed to sit down” or “talk to other people” on the job.

In solidarity with striking workers throughout Europe, many in the U.S. and throughout the world are calling for boycotts of “Prime Day,” which lasts 36 hours.

By Jake Johnson / Creative Commons / Common Dreams / Report a typo

This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.

Since you’re here…

…We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.

If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us