Christmas without Amazon: why these French boycott the online giant

For them, gifts this Christmas will not arrive in a box stamped with a black arrow. On Tuesday, several associations and elected officials launched a petition calling on the French not to order items on the Amazon online platform. Among its 14,000 signatories to date, we find in particular the mayor (PS) of Paris Anne Hidalgo, several EELV mayors (Eric Piolle, Bruno Bernard, Léonore Moncond’huy), the LFI deputy François Ruffin or the Confederation of traders of France, the Syndicat de la librairie française and Greenpeace.

On social networks, between several frightened messages from Amazon supporters, we find many environmental activists also against the platform. But other French people, less militant, they also commit to no longer consume via this giant of online commerce, criticized from all sides.

The reason ? They want, for the most part, to defend the French traders, initially on principle. And their commitment is even stronger in times of health crisis and after multiple lockdowns and closures. “Since its inception, I have boycotted Amazon”, assures Laïsa, a designer Parisian who says she does not like “the big American multinationals which take everything in their path”. “For books and digital products, I am satisfied with the products offered by local shops or Fnac, with the possibility of ordering if the product is not available”, explains the 35-year-old woman.

Defend employees

According to Willy, a 59-year-old retiree, it is even all over the Internet that you should not shop. “With my wife, we have always refused to buy on the Internet, because e-commerce is killing commerce, as well for clothes, food, tools… The case of Amazon is even worse, because ‘they pay no tax in France,’ deplores this inhabitant of Loiret.

For a long time, the American company, accused of transferring all its European profits to its subsidiary Amazon Services Europe, based in Luxembourg, has indeed maintained the vagueness of the amount of its taxes.

Besides paying taxes, it is also social issues that often come up in the mouths of anti-Amazon people. For Didier, himself a logistician, the question is even “personal”. “In general, I boycott companies in the new economy that treat their employees quite badly, from Deliveroo to Uber,” says the 38-year-old Parisian. “Their social practices, if we start letting them do that, all businesses will do the same. And it’s going to target us, ”he worries.

The e-commerce giant has often been accused of imposing heavy workloads and cadences on its employees. During the confinement, several French unions also denounced working conditions that did not respect health rules. With the influx of orders for Christmas, the hiring of temporary workers is causing massive crowds in some warehouses, they recently stressed.

“Is there only Amazon? “

But how can we do without this platform with its rich catalog, promises of rapid delivery and prices considered more affordable? By making an effort, answer all those questioned. “For the catalog, I can understand the situation of people in regions not like mine, where access to shops is not substantial. But is there only Amazon as the online sales platform? », Underlines Didier, who has taken the resolution to always buy or order his books in a bookstore near his home, in the Paris region.

Avoiding Amazon also means rethinking your consumption patterns, Laïsa points out. “For me it’s a service for lazy people, those who want everything, right away, without understanding that there are consequences behind that”, she comments. A logic close to “whim”, abounds Didier.

“We find everything we want outside of Amazon. It’s a little more complicated because we have to do more shopping, ”adds Willy, who describes his act as“ civic ”. But he recognizes that his individual act may seem inconsistent in the face of the power of such a giant. “Either way, I know Amazon is so sprawling and big, there’s bound to be people buying there. “

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