We need a real ban on Amazon lobbying

Trade unions and civil society call for comprehensive ban on Amazon lobbying in the European Parliament

Following the European Parliament’s decision to withdraw Amazon’s lobbying badges on 27 February, European trade unions and civil society call for a “comprehensive, transparent, and effective ban on Amazon lobbying in the European Parliament” in a letter released today.


In practice, this would mean extending the ban on Amazon’s 14 accredited lobbyists to “organisations that seek to influence decision-making processes on behalf of Amazon”. Moreover, the letter signed by over 20 trade unions and civil society organisations, including UNI Europa, Corporate Europe Observatory, LobbyControl and SOMO, calls for the “exclusion of Amazon representatives from the European Parliament building as guests” and “the refusal by MEPs to attend lobby meetings with Amazon off the premises of the European Parliament.

The letter, addressed to Secretary-General of the European Parliament Alessandro Chiocchetti and the College of Quaestors who are tasked with implementing the ban, argues that “Amazon’s voice extends far further than just its accredited lobbyists. The transparency register shows that, in 2023 alone, Amazon spent between €2,090,000-€3.099.982 on 20 consultancies that lobby on behalf of the company.”

Since the Parliament’s decision and additional public scrutiny, Amazon has also updated its registration in the EU Transparency Register.  The company now reports spending at least 4.5 million euros (up from 2.75 million), making it the 7th largest spender for a single company. This comes after Corporate Europe Observatory, Lobbycontrol and SOMO filed a complaint with the Secretariat of the EU Transparency Register earlier this year.

The measures outlined in the letter should only be lifted “if Amazon (1) attends a hearing on working conditions in its warehouses in a similar setup as the hearing on 23 January and (2) accepts a visit from the EMPL Committee and workers’ representatives to its warehouses in Poland and Germany once Committee missions are again allowed following the election time barring period for travel.”

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. 

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.

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