The workers behind the Black Friday discounts

24 Nov 2023

This Black Friday, as our inboxes are bursting with offers and savings from our favourite brands, ETF affiliates have been actively highlighting the workers behind the discounts! ETF Affiliates took action throughout Europe to show that the transport workers that make Black Friday happen have the support of their Unions to struggle for better wages and working conditions.

Last month, ETF also organised the Logistics Action Days, a wave of solidarity and trade union actions that, during two weeks, distributed the ETF Logistics Manifesto. A guiding document highlighting the rights and recognition logistics workers deserve. This manifesto was distributed and discussed in various formats, from workshops to in-person meetings, and reached an audience encompassing workers, employers, and political figures.

This time, we had actions all over Europe, and we want to highlight a few.

In Spain, CCOO has called a strike at all Amazon in all centres, for one hour per shift for the 27th and 28th of November in response to the occupational health problems suffered by the staff, the continuous issues of human resources management, and the insufficient wages.

Amazon, as is common in the sector, is not responding to the various proposals that have been presented to the company from the various trade union sections of CCOO. Therefore, there is no real approach by the company to provide a global solution to all workplaces.

In Belgium, the Transport union BTB-ABVV is organising the “Day of the Parcel Deliverer” on Black Friday. While parcel companies reap the highest turnover of the year on this, for the drivers who have to deliver them, BTB-ABVV symbolically offered surprise parcels to couriers at various depots this Friday.

In Italy, FILT CGIL has led an international workshop on the impacts of e-commerce on logistics workers, those in warehouses picking, packing, and sorting out goods, and those drivers delivering to our doorsteps and businesses. The Italian initiative within the Team Hub project, led by Filt Cgil and Fondazione Brodolini, was held on 22 November at Filt offices.

The initiative was an opportunity to address the relationship between logistics and its impacts at a national level. The day also shed light on the connection between collective bargaining and town planning and proposed a social model of development for the country, involving the regions, politics and institutions, as an alternative to the corporate model.

In Denmark, Danish Federation 3F engaged with workers on social media about how Unions are there when Logistics workers need them.

In Germany, ETF affiliate ver.di, alongside partners Fair Mobility, Fair Integration, Arbeit und Leben, reached around 850 employees of subcontractors who deliver for DPD Amazon, GLS, DHL, and UPS. They are giving out information at over 90 locations by the end of the week at DPD, Amazon, GLS, DHL, UPS, Hermes, Trans-o-Flex, and Fed-Ex.