Amazon criticized all over France on Black Friday

On December 4, 2020, a study on e-commerce and employment concluded that trading platforms destroyed 82,000 jobs in France between 2009 and 2018. The non-food retail sector suffered 114,000 net cuts. Although 32,000 jobs have been created in wholesale, the result is clear: the Amazon model is destroying jobs.

Former Foreign Minister Mounir Mahjoubi had already carried out an analysis which confirmed that one job created by Amazon destroyed up to 2.2. A figure below the conclusions of the study published today, carried out by two renowned economists: Ano Kuhanathan, who worked for the consulting firm EY and Axa Assurances, and Florence Mouradian, in particular for the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD). If studies have already been carried out in the USA or Italy, this represents a first in France.

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“For us this is the last chance”

The origin of this initiative is Les Amis de la Terre, an environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) that speaks out nationally against the model proposed by Amazon. Then the study was funded by Leïla Chaibi, a MEP from La France Insoumise. This demand is supported by local groups from Alternatiba, a citizen mobilization movement against climate change, but also by civil disobedience groups such as Action Non Violente (ANV) or Extinction Rébellion (XR).

“This is our last chance for us,” complains Adrien Montagut, activist of Alternatiba ANV Rhône. In Lyon, Alternatiba and ANV have formed a unique association. On the occasion of Black Friday, the three associations with Youth for Climate Lyon and Extinction Rébellion Lyon carried out civil disobedience. The focus is on overproduction and not on overconsumption: “The aim is not to make consumers feel guilty,” explains Adrien Montagut.

An activist sticks a sticker on the permanent plate of the deputy Thomas Rudigoz. Photography: Julia Guinamard, Siècle Digital

On the night of December 3rd to 4th and this morning, the three Lyon associations aimed for 6 posts by members of the LREM majority. Pacifistically, the action consisted of posting posters on the walls of these buildings and placing stacked boxes to challenge MPs. The posters denounce “Amazon = fewer jobs, more robots” or “Buy from Amazon = destroy local life”. As a nod to the brand’s image, the activists took care to invert the symbolic arrow to reveal a sad face. Similar actions took place today in different cities in France.

The activists in full unity about the persistence of the deputy Thomas Rudigoz in Lyon. Photography: Julia Guinamard, Siècle Digital

In Lyon, the activists met their deputy Thomas Rudigoz, with whom they could discuss. The activists questioned him on various topics, particularly La Poste, which are concerned that their main customer, Amazon, may do without it. With projects like the new warehouse in Lyon near Saint Exupéry International Airport, its services could be replaced by the giant’s air freight. “Today the local shops are disappearing, tomorrow it’s La Poste,” warns Adrien Montagut. The MP claims not to use Amazon and certifies that he supports local trade in his constituency. Without specifically responding to the activists’ request, the MP concluded: “Instead of coming to my door, you have to make an appointment.”

Thomas Rudigoz, member of the 1st District of the Rhône from the République en Marche, listens to the activists. Photography: Julia Guinamard, Siècle Digital

Last year, Black Friday was also the subject of acts of civil disobedience that are troubling the society of Jeff Bezos, who is closely monitoring it. Due to the health crisis, this year militant groups have opted for an approach that respects barrier gestures. So there was no blockage or human chain, but that doesn’t mean less impact.

“The city of Lyon has decided to join the appeals filed by several associations against the installation of a deposit by the e-commerce giant near Lyon,” declared the ecological mayor of Lyon, Grégory Doucet, on December 4, 2020. This statement reflects the construction of the warehouse in Lyon near the Saint Exupéry international airport, the construction of which is pending. The Fracture and Acenas associations have taken this project to court and the appeals court is due to rule in the coming days. Lyon City Hall supports the associations: “Supporting local trade means refusing to set up Amazon warehouses. I have decided to involve the city of Lyon in this fight, in this courageous fight waged by associations in defense of the sustainable public interest, ”says the mayor of the city of Lyon, a city that could become a symbol of the fight against the Amazon Model.

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