Bex Hay, a founding member of Amazon Anonymous, which campaigns for fair salaries and contracts for Amazon workers / Teri Pengilley

The online retailer boss has Ms Hay, 25, to thank for prompting hundreds of thousands of people in the UK to say they’ll boycott his company

Bex Hay has been a thorn in the side of the Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos for two years – and she has no plans to ease up on him. The online retailer boss has Ms Hay, 25, to thank for prompting hundreds of thousands of people in the UK to say they’ll boycott his company.

In 2013, Ms Hay and two friends launched a petition calling on the US company to pay its workers a living wage. Then they set up a group, Amazon Anonymous, to organise a boycott of the e-commerce giant, moving some customers to shop elsewhere. “That was a first step for us. We’re planning on going bigger this year,” says Ms Hay.

About 40,000 people pledged to boycott Amazon last Christmas; that figure has climbed to 200,000, she says, following the publication in August of a New York Times exposé into the company’s working practices.  Ms Hay, from south London, saw public interest swell. “We had 85,000 people in the UK sign our petition in two days,” she said. “We will be looking to mobilise them all this year. One of the best indications for me that these campaigns can have an impact was when Amazon agreed to pay corporation tax in May. 

A few years ago that would have been unimaginable; it’s a sign they can change.”

“Boycotting is one tactic – a personal action, but we will also look to unite people who want to take action together,” she added, citing small bookshops and businesses who have allegedly been affected by Amazon monitoring how products performed on the website before undercutting them and sourcing their own suppliers.

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