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Black Friday protests demand Amazon ‘start treating workers like humans — not robots’

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (AFP/File / Jim WATSON)

Labor rights activists and climate campaigners across Europe used the occasion of Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, to call attention to and protest Amazon’s “appalling” working conditions, paltry benefits, and destructive environmental practices.

“Workers are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious, and being taken away in ambulances,” said Mick Rix, national officer with the GMB Union, which organized demonstrations at Amazon warehouses across the United Kingdom on Friday.

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“Amazon has spent a fortune on fluffy adverts saying what a great place it is to work,” Rix added. “Why not spend the money making their warehouses less dangerous places to work? Amazon workers want Jeff Bezos to know they are people—not robots.”

GMB said Amazon employees at locations throughout the U.K. have reported being denied restroom breaks, penalized for taking sick days, and forced to work at a dangerous pace to meet the retail behemoth’s productivity goals.

“GMB members report targets being so horrific they have to use plastic bottles to urinate in instead of going to the toilet, and pregnant women have been forced to stand for hours on end,” the union said in a statement.

In France, demonstrators held sit-ins at Amazon’s Clichy headquarters to condemn the retail giant’s contributions to the climate crisis.

“We criticize Amazon for having a destructive policy for the planet, for social conditions, and Black Friday allows this company to achieve exponential revenue,” said activist Sandy Olivar Calvo.

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At an Amazon distribution center near Lyon, France, police assaulted and forcibly removed demonstrators who staged a sit-in to condemn the corporation’s climate practices:


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2020 Election

Trump’s closing argument to women: ‘We’re getting your husbands back to work’

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One week before the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump made his closing argument to women at a campaign rally in Lansing, Michigan.

"I love women and I can't help it, they're the greatest," Trump said, four years after the Access Hollywood tape was released which showed him bragging about sexually assaulting strangers.

"I love them much more than the men," he added.

Trump also made an economic argument that sounded as dated as his talk about "suburban housewives."

"We're getting your husbands -- they want to get back to work, right? We're getting your husbands back to work," he argued.

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2020 Election

Trump chants ‘COVID!’ ten times in a row after Obama slams him as ‘jealous’ of virus

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday again complained about the amount of media coverage being given to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump made the remarks at a campaign event in Lansing, Michigan, where he reminded supporters that he had been infected by the virus.

"I would like to give me full credit," the president said of his recovery. "I don't want to give the drug any credit. I want to say, because I am a very young person that's in perfect physical shape, I took that virus and I woke up the next morning and I felt like Superman."

Trump then motioned to members of the media at the event.

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Trump abruptly pulls ads out of Florida as his campaign funds dwindle: report

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President Trump's campaign has withdrawn advertising from the state of Florida, shifting its dwindling funds to the "industrial northern states" that carried him to victory in 2016, Bloomberg reports.

In the final week of the campaign, Trump is focusing all his energy on the battleground states of Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- where polls show he's behind Joe Biden with the exception of Ohio.

"Since the beginning of the fall campaign on Labor Day, Trump has cut $24 million from his national ad budget, while former Vice President Joe Biden has added $197 million," Bloomberg reports. "Biden has outspent Trump three-to-one over that time."

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