TikTok stars boycott Amazon in activism campaign

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Paris (AFP)- TikTok influencers, who collectively have more than 51 million followers, say they won’t work with Amazon until the e-commerce colossus delivers key concessions to workers and ends union-busting efforts.

It’s the latest example of creators lending their online scene to a cause on the growing platform best known for its dance crazes and catchy songs.

An advocacy group calling itself Gen-Z for Change said it coordinated the pledge of more than 70 popular TikTok talents to stand in solidarity with Amazon workers through a “People Over Prime Pledge.” “.

The wish refers to Amazon Prime – a paid membership from the online giant that includes perks such as fast deliveries – but also the pressure it puts on those working to fulfill orders.

“We call on Amazon to listen to its employees and make tangible changes to their working environment,” the group said in a letter, noting that TikTok has more than a billion users.

“Unless changes are made, we will prevent Amazon from monetizing one of the largest social media platforms in the world.”

The coalition is pushing for the company’s workers to get a $30 hourly minimum wage, improved medical leave and relaxed productivity requirements.

The group is also calling on Amazon, which has long resisted efforts to organize at its US facilities, to cease its opposition.

“We’ve always known how central creators are to Amazon’s marketing model,” Gen-Z for Change chief strategy officer Elise Joshi told AFP on Monday.

“Creators, especially TikTok creators, are the gateway to young people; we get that power back,” the 20-year-old added.

An Amazon Influencer program launched five years ago offers creators of TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and other social media platforms ways to earn money by recommending products in posts and directing shoppers to the service of e-commerce.

Some, but not all, of the coalition – which last week began refusing to do business with Amazon, including direct sponsorships and use of the e-commerce titan’s storefront – were associated with the partnership initiative.

“comfortable pace”

The demands sought in this case are those put forward by the union organizers who earlier this year won a vote to launch the first union store in one of Amazon’s US warehouses.

The second-largest employer in the United States behind mega-retail chain Walmart, Amazon has fiercely opposed attempts to unionize workers.

“The health, safety and well-being of our employees is our top priority,” Amazon spokesman Paul Flanigan said in response to an AFP inquiry.

“We are committed to giving our employees the resources they need to succeed, creating time for regular breaks and a comfortable work pace,” he added.

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Amazon has invested billions of dollars in security measures, technology and more to protect employees, Flanigan said.

Joshi called Amazon’s response “boilerplate” and hoped it would inspire social media influencers to get involved in the campaign.

TikTok activism

Gen-Z for Change organizers felt that with the power to reach tens of millions of young internet users comes the responsibility to champion social justice.

“We feel compelled because we have a great platform and a passion for fairness,” said Connor Hesse, 19, content specialist at Gen-Z for Change and creator of TikTok with some 2.3 million followers. .

Mobilizing on social media for Amazon employee rights can spur other companies to improve working conditions to avoid being the target of similar campaigns, argued Aly, a TikTok creator behind the usa account. .mom.in.germany.

Gen-Z for Change launched pro-worker campaigns against the Starbucks coffee chain and the Kroger supermarket group.

TikTok users in 2020 took credit for tricking former US President Donald Trump into bragging that a campaign rally in Oklahoma was going to overflow due to online ticket requests, only to get him to meet an audience below its capacity.

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