Amazon workers strike in Spain against abuse of temporary workforce and dependence on zero-hour contracts
More than 1,000 Amazon workers walked off the job today at the company’s San Fernando fulfilment centre to protest overreliance on zero-hour contracts and abuse of temporary workers.
The CCOO, which represents Amazon workers on a national level, called the strike at the centre in the Madrid suburbs after the company refused to adequately address its growing dependence on precarious work. The CCOO has filed a lawsuit contesting the company’s use of temporary workers, and believes that more than half of the 1,000 current workers employed by agencies should be given fixed contracts.
“We believe Amazon’s current addiction to precarious work is unethical and unlawful. We are striking to say, ‘no more,’” said Ana Isabel Berceruelo, an official from the CCOO. “Every person who has contributed to the company’s success through hard work has earned the right to stability, to a decent wage, and to a safe job.”
Today’s strike is the second in Spain this year. Workers went on a two-day strike in March, and say since then, the company has cracked down on workers’ rights.
In addition to labour unrest in Spain, Amazon workers protested the company’s pay and working conditions in Manchester, UK, on Tuesday, and in April, German workers struck in fulfilment centres across the country and led a mass demonstration in Berlin.
“From Seattle to San Fernando, Amazon has a disturbing pattern of squeezing workers and communities,” said Mathias Bolton, Head of Commerce at UNI Global Union. “With labour discontent in Europe boiling over and its community impact in the United States under scrutiny, Amazon is facing a global challenge to its labour model of poor pay, punishing quotas, and exploiting temporary employees.”
UNI Global Union is working to build alliances between national unions who represent Amazon workers. Currently, its Amazon Worker Alliance is made of unions from countries including, US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, and Czech Republic.