Black Friday 2021: ETF fights back for fair logistics

30 Nov 2021

“E-commerce has exploded during the Corona pandemic with bad consequences for the drivers. Higher workload, longer days more flexibility while wages have not risen with it, on the contrary. Many of these drivers are exploited while the big players make maxi-profits. That is unacceptable!” – ETF President, Frank Moreels

#BlackFriday – a time of year when the e-commerce sector sees record sales and profits. Yet behind the deals, behind the corporate successes, is a system of worker exploitation.

Precarious work, low pay, poor conditions and anti-union practices in e-commerce and logistics must end!

That’s why on Friday 26 November, trade unions across Europe stepped up and took action – going out to logistics hubs, delivery depots and sorting centres – making it clear that we will not be silent while this exploitation continues!

Altogether, as a European trade union movement, we demanded a better deal for workers, casting a light on the abuses in e-commerce, organising workers to fight back, and pushing the #Fight4FairLogistics!

In Copenhagen, we joined 3F – Gør dig stærkere in leafleting actions on the streets of Denmark’s capital city. Leaflets were handed out to early morning commuters, exposing the reality behind the cheap deals e-commerce companies push. 3F are taking on the online supermarket, demanding they sign an agreement with the union that covers ALL their delivery drivers & ensures #decentwork!

Simultaneously we joined DGB as they took action outside warehouses across Germany. We leafleted drivers and workers arriving at the facilities – handing out materials informing them about their rights. Here, the demand to one of the richest companies in the world is clear: subcontracted delivery drivers should have their labour rights respected! Time for Amazon to pay fair social security and tax contributions and respect all workers!

In Brussels – and in cities across the globe – trade unions came together with environmentalists and tax justice campaigners, as part of the #MakeAmazonPay alliance to demand the country follows its obligations to workers, governments and the planet! ETF was on the ground, alongside Belgian unions, BTB ABVV and ACV-Transcom – massing together against Amazon’s exploitation.

Meanwhile in London, ITF joined demonstrations outside Amazon’s UK HQ.

BTB turned Black Friday into Dag van de Pakjesbezorger, going out early to GLS, PostNL and DPD depots across Belgium, handing out packages to the drivers who are out on the road every day delivering orders for e-commerce firms. This came just days after BTB’s E-commerce Black Book landed on Monday – exposing the working reality for overworked and exploited drivers.

In Italy, union power was demonstrated with the signing of a deal between Amazon and Filt Cgil NazionaleFit-Cisl Nazionale and UILTRASPORTI for delivery drivers and couriers. The unions had threatened Amazon with Black Friday strike action but instead called off the strike after securing this deal for workers. The deal has secured better pay and bonuses, a reduction in working hours, more employment protections and better data management to protect workers.

In Turkey, Tümtis supported striking Amazon workers on Black Friday – demanding the company improve wages, respect the right to unionise and end environmental destruction. Workers at the Amazon cargo office unveiled a banner reading ‘Amazon Workers Are Not Slaves’.

After Black Friday, the fight goes on for fair logistics. ETF continue to up the work against exploitation across the e-commerce sector! Thank you for your actions in this fight!

Images from across the day of action: