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Amazon workers in Europe protest 'inhuman' working conditions

By Ray Downs
Jeff Bezos, CEO and Founder, Amazon speaks at The Economic Club Milestone Celebration Dinner in Washington on September 13. On Friday, hundreds of Amazon employees in Europe went on strike to protest "inhuman" working conditions. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/ca29dcc8f0df23bf0343df8744a71ad0/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Jeff Bezos, CEO and Founder, Amazon speaks at The Economic Club Milestone Celebration Dinner in Washington on September 13. On Friday, hundreds of Amazon employees in Europe went on strike to protest "inhuman" working conditions. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Amazon warehouse workers in Europe went on strike on Black Friday to protest "inhuman" working conditions.

Britain-based trade union GMB organized the continent-wide protest under the protest slogan, "We are not robots."

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"This #BlackFriday Amazon workers worldwide have come together with one message for billionaire Jeff Bezos. We are not robots, treat us with dignity and respect," the union tweeted Friday, along with a video of Amazon workers from different countries repeating the "we are not robots" slogan in various languages.

In addition to Britain, Amazon employees in Germany, Italy and Spain are also participating in the strike.

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The protest is in response to a Guardian report from May that found ambulances were called to Amazon warehouses 600 times over a course of three years to due incidents that resulted from unsafe working conditions.

Amazon denies the numbers found in the report.

"All of our sites are safe places to work and reports to the contrary are simply wrong," Amazon said. "According to the U.K. Government's Health and Safety Executive, Amazon has over 40% fewer injuries on average than other transportation and warehousing companies in the U.K.

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But on Friday, the GMB union insisted that Amazon warehouses are dangerous and implored Amazon to improve conditions.

"The conditions our members at Amazon are working under are frankly inhuman. They are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious and being taken away in ambulances," Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said in a statement. "We're standing up and saying enough is enough, these are people making Amazon its money. People with kids, homes, bills to pay -- they're not robots."

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