It won’t happen with same-day delivery. But a movement is forming to Make Amazon Pay

It won’t happen with same-day delivery. But a movement is forming to Make Amazon Pay

By: Cleodie Rickard
Date: 24 November 2023

Earlier this year, our Resisting Monopoly Capitalism conference explored extreme corporate power on a planet in crisis – how a small pool of corporate giants is dominating the economy across our basic needs: medicines, food, energy and technology.

We discussed Amazon as one of the main villains in the story of monopoly capitalism: the Big Tech behemoth whose dominance is built on exploiting workers, reckless waste and emissions, and aggressive tricks to squeeze out competition – churning through its workers, the planet and small businesses in equal measure.

Today, on Black Friday, a broad movement has mobilised in response to Amazon’s many crimes. We’ve joined the Make Amazon Pay coalition: organisations and unions working across labour, climate, data, racial and economic justice to make Amazon pay fair wages, its taxes and for its impact on the planet.

The fightback is happening

Last year, Amazon Coventry made history by becoming the first UK Amazon warehouse workers to go on strike. Striking worker, Garfield Hylton spoke at our conference about Amazon’s union-busting, its sinister use of AI, and workers’ unique insight into its climate crimes. Garfield and his colleagues were out again today, at the same time as Make Amazon Pay coalition members are organising strikes, actions and protests across the world. 

Writing the rules

Big Tech giants are manipulating economic rules in our familiar sites of struggle: the international trade and food systems. As Parminder Jeet Singh from IT for Change in India argued at our conference, big tech monopolies are a form of digital colonisation which we need to oppose.

Amazon and other tech giants are trying to write the rules of the global economy, to extract as much data and expand into as many markets as possible. They are lobbying to influence trade deals in their favour, and lock in deregulation before governments begin to consider laws to constrain them.

They’re buying up technological processes and the data to control and profit from the full length of the food chain, farm to grocery, threatening both the ecosystems and the small farmers in the global south who produce most of the world’s food.

Building a strong movement against corporate power means finding avenues to pursue broad coalitions, and Amazon is uniting many in opposition.

Thank you to all of you who joined actions across the country today or shared updates throughout the day.

Together we can make this movement bigger and stronger.