A visual on a red background with a picture from an anti-Amazon protest

A victory for workers everywhere – European trade unions and civil society welcome decision on Amazon EU lobby ban

Weeks after Amazon workers and civil society allies  demanded an Amazon ban from European institutions, the European Parliament will be withdrawing Amazon’s lobbying badges. As a result, the company will effectively be barred from lobbying inside the European Parliament. This is only the second time in the history of the European Parliament, after Monsanto in 2017, that a corporation’s lobby access is removed.

The move comes after Amazon’s repeated refusal to attend hearings in the European Parliament on working conditions in Amazon warehouses. Amazon is a frequent visitor to the EU Parliament. In January alone, it had nine meetings with MEPs, including a meeting just a day after the hearing.

Earlier this month, over 30 trade unions and civil society organisations, including Corporate Europe Observatory, UNI Europa, the ETUC, LobbyControl and SOMO sent a joint letter to European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, who forwarded the request to the College of Quaestors, in support of the removal of Amazon’s badges. The College, made up of five Members of the European Parliament, confirmed the decision today at a meeting. Now, the Secretary-General of the European Parliament, Alessandro Chiocchetti, is set to execute the decision.

Numbers from LobbyFacts.eu show that, since 2013, Amazon has allocated a staggering €18.8 million towards lobbying European institutions, demonstrating the company's commitment to influencing policy decisions. Additionally, Amazon currently employs fourteen lobbyists accredited by the European Parliament.

Further, the Secretariat of the EU Transparency Register is investigating Amazon for failing to report on its affiliations to several think tanks and declaring a lobbying budget that is seemingly too low. This investigation was opened following complaints from civil society organisations. To ensure that Amazon abides by the EU’s lobby regulations and today’s decision from the European Parliament, the EU Institutions need to strengthen their scrutiny of EU lobbying.

Italian Amazon worker and European Works Council member Gianpaolo Meloni comments: “Amazon treats our democratic institutions like it treats us, its workers: with contempt. Today's decision by the European Parliament shows Amazon that it can't continue disregarding our democratic institutions without consequences. And I hope the same will be true in the future when it comes to our democratic rights: like the right to freely join a union and bargain for better conditions and pay.”

The company’s track record, marred by allegations of exploitative labour practices, antitrust violations, tax dodging and environmental negligence, has drawn sharp criticism from advocacy groups worldwide. Just last week, following months of intense scrutiny from the press, civil society and government officials, Amazon agreed to pay US$1.9 million to reimburse more than 700 contracted warehouse workers in Saudi Arabia who were deceived by recruitment agents and labour supply companies.

The mounting pressure on Amazon is part of a broader campaign led by the Make Amazon Pay campaign, which mobilised strikes and protests across more than 30 countries on Black Friday 2023.

Bram Vranken, Corporate Europe Observatory researcher and campaigner, comments: “This is an important victory against one of the largest and most powerful companies in the world. Amazon’s utter disregard for democratic scrutiny of its exploitative business model will not be tolerated. We now call on all Members of the European Parliament to refrain from meeting Amazon lobbyists.”

Oliver Roethig, UNI Europa Regional Secretary, says: “The European Parliament has drawn a clear red line: Amazon’s anti-democratic behaviour won’t be tolerated – whether that’s towards trade unions or parliaments. For Amazon workers and their trade unions across Europe, this is an important victory in the struggle for good working conditions at Amazon.”

Margarida Silva, SOMO researcher, adds: “Today’s decision shows the European Parliament standing up for democratic scrutiny of corporate power. Now comes the hard work of ensuring the company does not circumvent it. Members of the European Parliament and their staff members must ensure they do not open a side door for Amazon lobbyists and the EU Institutions must toughen up their scrutiny of EU lobbying.

Max Bank, LobbyControl campaigner, concludes: “With its decision to withdraw Amazon’s lobby badges, the European Parliament sends out a clear signal. It’s showing the red card to tech lobbyists if they disregard the role of democratic institutions.


For media inquiries, please contact

Bram Vranken, Corporate Europe Observatory researcher and campaigner

bram@corporateeurope.org; +32 497 131464

Margarida Silva, SOMO researcher

margarida@somo.nl; +32487823541

Max Bank, LobbyControl researcher and campaigner

presse@lobbycontrol.de; +49 30 467 26 72 11

Daniel Kopp, UNI Europa Director of Communications

daniel.kopp@uniglobalunion.org; +49 160 553 58 57

Notes to editor:

Co-convened by UNI Global Union and the Progressive International, Make Amazon Pay is a coalition of over 80 unions, civil society organisations,  environmentalists and tax watchdogs. Make Amazon Pay is united behind a set of common demands that Amazon pays its workers fairly and respects their right to join unions, pays its fair share of taxes and commits to real environmental sustainability.

  • In November 2023, CEO, LobbyControl and SOMO documented how Amazon has been ramping up its lobby presence across Europe.
  • In November 2023, LobbyControl published a legal opinion showing how the German competition authority can break up Amazon.
  • In June 2023, SOMO published a report on Amazon's monopoly over third-party sellers in its European marketplace.
  • In January 2023, UNI Global Union released an international study of the effects of Amazon's intrusive monitoring on workers' mental health.
  • In January 2023 CEO and LobbyControl documented how economic consultancies are spamming DG Competition on behalf of their Big Tech clients.
  • Information on Amazon's European Parliament lobby meetings provided by parltrack.eu

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