Amazon

 

Why?

Reasons to not shop at Amazon.com:

  1. Shopping at Amazon.com Puts Independent Bookstores Out of Business

    • According to Seattle PI, “It’s cheaper to operate a book warehouse than to operate a book showroom. Buying in bulk at discount rates, storing books in warehouses, selling books without sales taxes, may produce lower prices for customers, but these low prices undermine booksellers who have to pay rent and salaries to maintain an actual store.What you may not know, but what the Boston Review documented so well in its story “Books After Amazon,” is that 75 percent of all online book sales through Amazon.com because, like Wal-Mart, Amazon.com uses “punitive tactics” with publishers to receive unique discounts. This includes refusing to list a publisher’s books if they do not accede to Amazon.com’s terms. With so much control over the online book market, it is now abusing its bargaining power in a way that makes it harder for both bookstores and publishers to make ends meet. In this way, Amazon.com has taken a monopolistic practices pioneered by large booksellers before it and used it against the whole industry– undercutting not just independent bookstores, but also chains and online competitors both big and small.”
  2. Treatment of Employees

    • According to Wikipedia, “Employees of Amazon have regularly commented on the abusive treatment of all blue collar and white collar workers across many media. A large number of them formed a new group in late 2015 to collect their complaints and address them directly to Amazon management. The group is called the FACE (Former And Current Employees) of Amazon.

      Warehouse conditions

      In September 2011 Allentown, Pennsylvania’s Morning Call interviewed 20 past and present employees at Amazon’s Breinigsville warehouse, all but one of whom criticized the company’s warehouse conditions and employment practice. Specific investigatory concerns were heat so extreme it required the regular posting of ambulances to take away workers who passed out, strenuous workloads in that heat, and first-person reports of summary terminations for health conditions such as breast cancer.  The Morning Call also published, verbatim, Amazon.com’s direct response to a query by OSHA, where amazon.com detailed its response when heat conditions reach as high as 114 °F (46 °C), including water and ice treatment, electrolyte drinks, nutrition advice, and extended breaks in air conditioned rooms. Five days after the Morning Call article was published, Amazon stated that it had spent $2.4 million “urgently installing” air conditioning at four warehouses including the Breinigsville facility. However, the original investigator states that when he checked back with current employees for his September 23 follow-up story, “they told him nothing had changed since his original story ran.”

      Amazon.com also encountered similar but lower grade complaints about its Marston Gate, UK facility, prompting a threatened protest from Billy Bragg in 2001; claims of mistreatment in the U.K. resurfaced in 2008 with fresh reports of “sweatshop conditions“.

      In June 2012, Amazon began the installation of a $52 million investment in cooling its warehouses around the country, a major cost for the company equivalent to 8.2 percent of Amazon’s 2011 total earnings. Experts speculated Amazon made such a massive investment either to dampen negative publicity over workers conditions, and/or to better protect goods in the warehouse such as food and electronics equipment.

  3. Tax Invasive

    • According to Wikipedia, “Amazon has been criticized for its refusal to collect sales taxes from customers in states in which it does not have a physical presence, thus giving it a comparative advantage over brick-and-mortar retailers. Hypothetically, some such customers should pay the equivalent amount in use tax directly to their state; however, few customers do so.

      Tax avoidance in the UK

      It was reported in The Guardian, April 4, 2012, that Amazon generated more than £3.3bn of sales in the UK but paid no corporation tax at all on the profits, and that it was under investigation by the UK tax authorities. Amazon’s tax affairs are also being investigated in China, Germany, France, Japan and Luxembourg.

      In November 2012, the UK government announced plans to investigate Amazon.com, along with Starbucks and Google, for tax avoidance. As a result, Amazon has faced a backlash and boycott from the general public and other businesses in the UK. In 2014, children’s book author Allan Ahlberg refused an Amazon sponsored literary award on the grounds that it was unethical since Amazon cheats by avoiding taxes.”

  4. Anti Union

    • According to Wikileaks, “Amazon has opposed efforts by trade unions to organize in both the United States and the United Kingdom. In 2001, 850 employees in Seattle were laid off by Amazon.com after a unionization drive. The Washington Alliance of Technological Workers (WashTech) accused the company of violating union laws, and claimed Amazon managers subjected them to intimidation and heavy propaganda. Amazon denied any link between the unionization effort and layoffs. Also in 2001, Amazon.co.uk hired a US management consultancy organization, The Burke Group, to assist in defeating a campaign by the Graphical, Paper and Media Union (GPMU, now part of Unite the Union) to achieve recognition in the Milton Keynes distribution depot. It was alleged that the company victimized or sacked four union members during the 2001 recognition drive and held a series of captive meetings with employees.”
  5. Sale of revisionist and Holocaust-denying books

    • According to Wikipedia, “In October 2013, the World Jewish Congress called on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to remove from its offer books that deny the Holocaust and promote anti-Semitism or white supremacy. “No one should profit from the sale of such vile and offensive hate literature. Many Holocaust survivors are deeply offended by the fact that the world’s largest online retailer is making money from selling such material,” WJC Executive Vice President Robert Singer wrote in a letter to Bezos. Earlier, a report in the British online magazine The Kernel had revealed that Amazon.com was selling books that defend Holocaust denial, and shipped them even to customers in countries where Holocaust denial is prohibited by the law.”
  6. Amazon refuses to pull its advertising from Breibart News

    • Breitbart News, formerly owned by Trump’s Advisor Steve Bannon, regularly produces articles pushing misinformation, racism, sexism, anti-semtism and is considered champion for the Alt Right, a white nationalist movement. Many companies, such as Amazon, control all their ads through a Demand Side Platform where the ads often follow consumers to their sites rather than picking the sites they advertise on directly.  Many company ads, such as Amazon, could appear on Breitbart’s site, if a consumer of amazon visits both sites, giving Breibart advertisement funding.  There has been nationwide campaigns to get companies to block their ads and advertisement funding going to Breitbart.  Amazon refuses to do this.

 

Learn More

Salon: Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon’s sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers

Independent: Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic books are being sold on Amazon

Buzzfeed: Amazon Employees Are Trying To Force The Company To Cut Ad Ties With Breitbart

The Guardian: Amazon: £7bn sales, no UK corporation tax

Boston Review: Books after Amazong

Time: How Amazon Crushed the Union Movement

 

Alternatives to Amazon

 

Support Independent Sellers

Books

Powells

Hive.co.uk

Wordery.com

Books, Music & Movies

Alibris

 

 

 

Support Ethical Online Retailers

Retailers with good social and environmental ratings

List from Ethical Consumer

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Suggested Ethical Online Retailers

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Cebra Online

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App to help find Ethical and Sustainable Alternatives

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Free Chrome Extension that when you’re shopping for products online if there is an ethical and sustainable company that has what you’re searching for you’ll receive an alert. 

 

Amazon Reforming Campaigns

Petition: Amazon: Stop investing in hate

Ethical Consumer Boycott campaign of Amazon

Amazon Free Challenge

FACE (Former And Current Employees) of Amazon