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Thousands of Californians Organize to #BlackOutBezos on Black Friday

Over 10,000 people have already pledged to boycott Amazon on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to amplify Courage California’s call to CEO Jeff Bezos: Stop Exploiting for Profit!

Amazon has officially launched its Black Friday week marketing campaign. In response, Courage California and progressive partners are urging consumers to #BlackOutBezos on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this holiday season to bring awareness to Amazon’s exploitative practices and help support local business.

Over 10,000 people have already pledged to #BlackOutBezos and send a powerful and clear message to Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos: stop exploiting our workers, communities and local businesses, or lose us as consumers, permanently. And an additional 11,239 have signed a petition to protect Amazon workers, which has been in circulation since Amazon Prime Day, on October 13. (#BlackOutBezos has already gained a great deal of traction on Twitter).

Californians will no longer contribute to Bezos’ profits — which have been made by abusing workers and stealing intellectual property — or standby and tolerate:

  • Amazon stealing product ideas in order to put third-party merchants out of business.[cite]
  • Allowing 20,000 of its warehouse workers to contract COVID-19 due to its practices. A Cal/OSHA complaint says that Amazon is failing to provide the training necessary for avoiding coronavirus infection.[cite]
  • The cover-up of workplace injuries of their employee, who are twice as likely to be injured than in other similar jobs.[cite]
  • All the while, CEO Jeff Bezos amasses a level of wealth never before seen in America, now at $200 billion.[cite] His earnings have only increased during the pandemic — Amazon even doubled its bottom line from the same quarter a year ago.[cite]

“We wholeheartedly understand that during a global pandemic being able to shop online with Amazon is a convenient and safe way to shop,” said Irene Kao, Courage California’s Executive Director. “But it is up to us, as consumers, to make conscious decisions about how and where we shop and transfer our wealth. Amazon is a corporation that continuously takes advantage of  its sellers and workers, and has actively prevented its workers from organizing and having the ability to collectively bargain.”

As the fifth biggest economy in the world, Courage California recognizes through organizing consumers across our state that we can send a bold, direct message to Jeff Bezos.

“There are so many alternatives that treat workers with dignity, providing fair wages and safety protections, and don’t steal and exploit. Amazon has a choice on how it treats their workers, and they continue to choose executive wealth over the long-term health of their workers and our communities. This is why we, as consumers, are Blacking Out Bezos this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Californians will stand in courage and demand better for our workers and communities, by sending Jeff Bezos a message in the language he knows best, his profits. His workers may not be allowed to organize, but we can,” said Kao.

Courage California, and a coalition of state and national partners, has begun deploying a week of digital #BlackOutBezos content, which started Monday, with a goal of obtaining over 50,000 pledges to #BlackOutBezos this holiday season.

With Courage and unity, we can demand better for California’s workers, small businesses, and Amazon sellers — and put a spotlight on the local businesses that are deserving and in need of our consumer-power.