TikTok stars boycott Amazon in activism push

influencers boasting collectively more than 51 million followers say they won't work with until the e-commerce colossus delivers key concessions to workers and halts anti-union efforts.

It's the latest example of creators lending their online stage to a cause on the massively growing platform more known for dance crazes and catchy songs.

An advocacy group calling itself Gen-Z for Change said it coordinated the pledge from more than 70 popular TikTok talents to stand in solidarity with Amazon workers through a “People Over Prime Pledge”.

The vow references Amazon Prime – a paid subscription from the online giant that includes benefits like rapid deliveries – but also the pressure it puts on those working to fill the orders.

“We are calling on Amazon to listen to their workers and make tangible changes to their workplace environment,” the group said in a letter, noting that TikTok has more than a billion users.

“Unless changes are made, we will prevent Amazon from monetising one of the largest social media platforms in the world.”

The coalition is pushing for the firm's workers to get a minimum hourly wage of US$30 (S$42), improved medical leave and easing of productivity requirements.

The group is also calling on Amazon, which has long resisted unionisation efforts in its US facilities, to stop its opposition.

“We have always known how essential creators are to the Amazon marketing model,” Gen-Z for Change director of strategy Elise Joshi told AFP on Monday (Aug 23).

“Creators, especially TikTok creators, are the gateway to young people; we are reclaiming that power,” the 20-year-old added.

An Amazon Influencer Program launched five years ago offers creators at TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and other social media platforms ways to make money by recommending products in posts and steering buyers to the e-commerce service.

Some, but not all coalition members – who began last week refusing to do business with Amazon, including direct sponsorships and use of the e-commerce titan's storefront – were associated with that partnership initiative.

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