Amazon workers are striking in Italy, the first for the country and one of historical importance. This morning at 5 a.m., union leaders walked out of Mpx5, the giant warehouse in Castel San Giovanni, in the heartland of logistics in the Piacenza valley. While strikes at Amazon have been organized before, in 2015 in France and Germany, the Italians decided to start theirs on “Black Friday,” an imported American term for a day dedicated to retail.
It is unlikely that this will bring the delivery system to a halt on Black Friday, as temporary workers, singled out by the green badges around their necks, will be called on to keep “the machine” in operation, having faced “pressures from the higher-ups” ever since Wednesday.
Their situation lies at the center of the claims of the workers who have decided to strike. “We want to let the company know that there is discontent, especially among those who are forced to work only at night, or almost on permanent call,” says Beatrice, 26, from nearby Sarmato, one of the few unafraid to speak out. She has worked at Amazon since 2012, with a permanent contract only since 2016.