Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Amazon Workers in France Wage Unprecedented Strike For Wage Increases

Fighting for wage increases that at least keep pace with inflation, workers at Amazon in France are expanding their strike across the country.

Gaëtan Gracia

April 7, 2022
Facebook Twitter Share
Amazon employees on strike outside a warehouse in Saran, France, last month. Mourad Guichard/Reuters

A strike by Amazon workers in France resumed in earnest on Tuesday, April 5, and extended to all Amazon sites across the country. “Management offered us a 3 percent increase, but we want at least 5 percent,” Antoine Delorme of the CGT Amazon trade union at Châlons-sur-Saône told Révolution Permanente.

This is happening in the context of compulsory annual negotiations (NAO) under France’s Labor Code. Management’s proposal of a wage increase that is less than inflation has provoked an unprecedented strike movement at every Amazon France facility.

Some sites had already gone on strike last week after initial NAO meetings, at which the bosses offered 2 percent. At the first post-strike negotiations, they upped the offer to 3 percent. The five unions involved (CGT, Sud, CFDT, CAT, CFE-CGC) said it wasn’t enough, and called a new strike — and this time, all eight sites went out at the same time. At some sites, barricades were erected to slow down trucks from entering and exiting.

“This is completely unprecedented at Amazon,” said Delorme. “It’s very important that we’re mobilizing together, because when a site is blocked, management shifts deliveries to come from another site. So, if we all respond together, we’re stronger.”

Alain Jeault, CGT central union delegate, says there are 1,200 strikers in all.

Many of these workers are on strike for the first time. At the Châlons site, some 200 full-time employees are striking, out of 700 — a significant number given the obstacles and difficulties of striking against this type of company.

At some sites, it was the workers themselves who demanded of their elected union representative that a strike be called. Delorme said that when the strike by one team had stopped, “workers from another team asked us to start the strike again!”

Compare Amazon’s enormous $33 billion in profits last year with the proposed increases, and you can understand why strikers want to fight. And the strikes are likely to continue, Delorme said, because management refuses to go up to 5 percent.

“Whatever happens,” he said, “this is an issue that affects everyone today — you in your company, me in mine, and everywhere. And even in other countries. In fact, I want to salute our colleagues in the United States who created the first Amazon union in the country! What they’ve done is a victory for all workers!”

With spiraling inflation and wages that are not keeping up, the wage issue is becoming central in France, and could converge with other struggles. If links are created, this could open up new perspectives for the labor movement, which has suffered through the lethargy of the trade union leaderships over the last two years.

First published in French on April 5 in Révolution Permanente.

Translation by Scott Cooper

Facebook Twitter Share


The French Union Bureaucracy Walks Back Demand for Complete Withdrawal of Pension Reform

After calling to put the pension reform “on hold,” the Inter-Union has requested “mediation,” even though the French government has rejected outright the proposal, showing that compromise is impossible. This proposition symbolizes the Inter-Union’s strategy of defeat. We urgently need to organize the rank and file to broaden our demands and generalize the strike.

Damien Bernard

March 30, 2023
A group of protesters, in the front of whom are a line of protesters wearing red vests. In the front right corner, a white sign reds "vive la retraite," with a skeleton wearing a red hat in the middle of the sign on a black background with a text bubble on its left that reads, "oiv a bosse, c'est pas pour en crever!"

“French March”: The Right to Revolutionary Optimism

Evoking memories of '68, the students enter the fight against Macron. In our chaotic world, the future can only be built in the streets.

Eduardo Castilla

March 26, 2023

On Monday, Germany Will Experience a “Mega-Strike”

On March 27, German railway workers and public sector employees will shut down the whole country. All trains are being canceled. Airports, freeways, hospitals, and daycare centers will all be affected.

Nathaniel Flakin

March 25, 2023

France: On the Frontlines of the War Against Austerity

The French masses have raised the banner of class struggle in what is becoming the first major battle against austerity after the pandemic. Working people across the world should pay attention.

James Dennis Hoff

March 25, 2023


Biden’s Proposed Budget Nothing but Empty Promises 

Earlier this month, Joe Biden announced his budget proposal, with a lot of promises. But the only thing we know he’ll deliver is that “nothing will fundamentally change.”

Molly Rosenzweig

March 31, 2023

At Least 39 Migrants Die in Fire at Detention Center in Mexico. The State Is Responsible.

The events of March 27 marked one of the darkest chapters in the Mexican State’s anti-immigrant policy, a policy that is increasingly subordinated to the interests of U.S. imperialism.

“Lesser Evil” Biden Wants More Border Patrol Than MAGA Republicans

Over the weekend, Biden bragged about his support for even more resources than “MAGA Republicans.” to “secure the border” on Twitter. This is “lesser evilism” in action.

Molly Rosenzweig

March 28, 2023
Customers clear shelves of water Sunday at Fresh Grocer in West Philadelphia.

A Chemical Plant Just Poisoned Philadelphia’s Water: A First-Hand Account of the Crisis

A company dumped thousands of gallons of poisonous chemicals into Philadelphia’s drinking water. This is an on-the-ground account by a Philadelphia worker and socialist.

Jason Koslowski

March 27, 2023