Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are also taking off in France, as consumers start to embrace discounts outside of the traditional legally-designated summer and winter sales periods. Adobe estimates 48 percent of French consumers will do their holiday shopping during Cyber weekend this year. The craze has also spread to the rest of Europe including major markets Italy, Spain and Germany. In Asia, countries like Japan and India are also starting to see discounted shopping deals during this period from retailers like Amazon.
But some campaigners have also used the shopping holiday to protest at what they see as inhumane working conditions at Amazon fulfilment centers. The GMB Union in the U.K. planned several protests around the country on Friday, suggesting hundreds could demonstrate at warehouses in Rugeley, Swansea, Peterborough, Milton Keynes and Warrington. Action was also expected in Spain and Italy.
A spokesperson for Amazon wasn’t immediately available for comment, but a statement to other U.K. media outlets said that the claims of unsafe working conditions were wrong.
“According to the U.K. Government’s Health and Safety Executive, Amazon has over 40 percent fewer injuries on average than other transportation and warehousing companies in the U.K.,” the company said.
“We encourage everyone to compare our pay, benefits and working conditions to others and come see for yourself on one of the public tours we offer every day at our centers across the U.K.”
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