EU Policy. Trade unions ask Parliament to ban all lobbyists working for Amazon

Amazon's lobbyists got banned from the European Parliament last month.
Amazon's lobbyists got banned from the European Parliament last month. Copyright Elaine Thompson/Copyright 2018 The AP. All rights reserved
By Cynthia Kroet
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The call comes as lawmakers decided to ban Amazon representatives last month.

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Trade unions have written to the European Parliament administration asking for a ban on all lobbying organisations working for Amazon with 14 of the US online marketplace's employees already facing restrictions on entry to the legislature's premises.

The 21 organisations, including IndustriAll European Trade Union and LobbyControl, say that “ to give real effect” to last month’s decision to withdraw access badges from Amazon staff, entry should also be denied to all those entities seeking to lobby MEPs on behalf of Amazon.

Their letter, citing the EU’s transparency register, suggests that Amazon spent between €2,1 and €3,1 million in 2023 alone, on 20 consultancies that lobby on behalf of the company.

In 2023 those lobbyists included FleishmanHillard, FTI Consulting, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide and Deloitte.

“In practice that would mean that MEPs refuse to meet with the above-listed organisations if they seek to represent Amazon or its interests,” the letter said. 

Hearing

Last month, 14 Amazon lobbyists were banned from entering the parliament following a call from the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) after the company failed to attend a series of hearings and factory visits in 2021 and 2023.

“It is unreasonable for members to be lobbied by Amazon while at the same time being deprived of the right to represent the interests of European citizens and inquire about claims of breaches of fundamental rights enshrined in EU Treaties and EU labour laws,” the EMPL committee said.

The politicians wanted to hold discussions and visits to research media reports suggesting the potential monitoring of Amazon's workers along with other business and workplace practices.

Amazon said it was “very disappointed" with that decision and expressed its willingness to engage with lawmakers. "We have on several occasions invited them to visit our facilities. That invitation still stands," a spokesperson said last month.

According to the trade unions, measures should only be lifted if Amazon attends a hearing on working conditions and accepts a visit from the EMPL Committee and workers’ representatives to its warehouses in Poland and Germany.

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