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Amazon Lobbyists Banned from European Parliament Over Workers Rights

 |  February 28, 2024

In a bold move reflecting escalating tensions over transparency and labor conditions, the European Parliament has decided to ban the lobbyists of e-commerce giant Amazon from its premises. This decision comes as a response to Amazon’s alleged refusal to engage with the Parliament regarding its stance on workers’ rights and labor conditions.

Confirmed on Tuesday, the European Parliament will revoke the access badges that permit Amazon lobbyists to enter its premises, following a demand from a group of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). According to the Financial Times, the MEPs have accused Amazon of consistently avoiding dialogue on crucial issues concerning workers’ rights and labor conditions, reported The Financial Times.

This development marks only the second instance where a company’s lobbyists have been barred from entering the European Parliament, the first being agrochemical company Monsanto in 2017.

Read more: Amazon Challenges EU’s ‘Large Online Platform’ Law

Responding to the decision, Amazon expressed disappointment, emphasizing its desire to engage constructively with policymakers. The company, which boasts a presence in the European Union for over 25 years and employs more than 150,000 permanent workers in the region, underscored its commitment to engaging with policymakers across Europe.

The ban on Amazon’s lobbyists underscores a broader trend of increased scrutiny and regulatory focus on Big Tech companies by both European and US lawmakers. Of particular concern are the rapid advancements in technologies such as generative artificial intelligence, prompting policymakers to reassess regulatory frameworks.

Lobbying has traditionally served as a primary avenue for companies to influence regulatory outcomes, making this ban on Amazon’s lobbyists a significant development. The decision also reflects mounting pressure on Amazon over its treatment of workers, with ongoing debates surrounding pay, working conditions in warehouses, and the company’s stance on unionization.

Source: FT