Music4Freedom’s response to Amazon’s holiday season abuse of temporary workers

The holiday season true to the dominant paradigm within our global economy where corporate interests and downsizing prevail, relying on cheap labor in order to sustain transnational empires. Labor arrangements of mass production ensuring corporate profit and consumer satisfaction, are navigated upon the bodies of low wage workers. In effect entire systems rely on the creation of over worked, low wage workers. Recent labor abuse and subsequent protests at Amazon Germany capture and illuminate the nature of such egregious transnational markets.

Just days before the Christmas holiday began; Germany’s temporary and migrant workers hired by Amazon were dismissed from their jobs taking with them the false promise of becoming a full-time worker for Amazon in exchange for being underpaid workers subjected to high surveillance, and a business model that leads to high levels of stress, injury and mistreatment

Amazon whose company is popular during the holiday season recently fired 600+ of its temporary workers in Germany just days before Christmas after their harsh labor had already been completed. Read more about that story in this Dutch article. It is not uncommon to read news about temporary workers being fired and going on strike, leaving their jobs as a form of protest for their low paying, underpaid jobs and unfair treatment; However, Amazon has a well documented history of suddenly firing, laying off both permanent and temporary workers, yet the news of this is largely ignored by mainstream media who merely highlights the issue

“As customers we are often unaware of the treatment temporary and migrant workers face while making, packaging and placing online orders. We are a direct link to the growing demand for cheap labor and abusive labor practices worldwide. The products we choose to purchase, on a daily basis directly support the companies who hire and exploit the workers who make the products we order. Every purchase we make is then connected from the consumer, to the company and directly to the temporary workers who make and package the products we order.” -Gia Ibarra | Founder of Music4Freedom


Missy Chiprin Writes: To be considered is the ease with which a company can devise strategies of production while avoiding scrutiny by the public. Online shopping facilitates such practices as we sit behind our pretty screens, labor made invisible; coupled with the dehumanization of employees, as we are further removed from the very real people who process our online orders within distribution centers, far from our minds eye. We click buttons, “send” to our cart, transaction completed with no human involved, ostensibly all is well. We should not underestimate the effects this all might have on made-to-us-anonymous workers. In contrast with the exploitive labor practices at brick and mortar retail outlets, complete with long lines of customers, employees struggling to meet consumers needs and demands, as they tend to carelessly left merchandise by hurried shoppers such as Wal-Mart are far harder to hide.”

Missy went on to discuss three types of stress, mapped out within Amazon’s business model Raising critical questions which begged to be answered, including as we challenge such business practices, how are we empowering the employees. For we are bearing witness to and committing our support, embodied within an atmosphere which creates an unsafe environment, workers have the answers, and most certainly have a powerful voice

Amazon’s 3 levels of stress business model

1. Physical labor combined with unrealistic and unattainable goals dominate the work environment. Charting this is critical to identifying the dependence on one body’s ability to work under oppressive conditions, placing often life time of stress on one’s physical being

2. Mental stress of Job insecurity becomes evident under the frame work of the cortex, the nexus of exploitive labor practices ensued. Equally threatening, Amazon employees are well aware of the countless temporary workers eagerly ready to replace them if they do not make their goals and/or are fired

3. A disturbing practice of inducing emotional stress. Intentionally, workers are subjected to feeling they are not good enough, so as to cause them to work harder and worse challenging their belief of their own autonomy, by creating dependence out of the false belief, of their own lack. Within the contours of capitalism, historically enacting destructive methods lie such markers we ought to take heed

Missy Chiprin is Producer at The Scholar’s Circle & Music4Freedom Media Director


Music4Freedom: A music organization whose focus is advocating for human rights through its music campaigns has decided to protest Amazon’s unfair treatment of migrant and temporary workers in Germany and worldwide by taking down all of its 2013 music releases which includes the following: music4freedom, artists4freedom & Johnito online music releases:

 

An EP focusing on peace and protest music “Be Free” -EP- by Artists4Freedom

 

“United Artists for Change” An anti-Slavery Album by Music4Freedom to benefit the Abolish Slavery Coalition

 

The recently released single and tribute song to Edward Snowden “Resistance Is Vital” by Johnito, supported by Artists4Freedom

Music4Freedom’s music releases are in process of being taken down from Amazon’s MP3 music stores worldwide with no notice of being resubmitted in the future to Amazon MP3 music stores until Amazon stops it’s abuse of temporary and migrant workers worldwide including changing their policy for keeping and maintaining temporary workers within their company without the possibility of becoming full time equally paid workers

“Workers everywhere around the world are facing, more or less, the same struggle as the ‘financial crisis’ is continuing.” -Johnito

Johnito who is a part of Artists4Freedom an Independent Artists group that advocates for human rights through their music has also asked his fans to continue the support of his music through other music stores excluding Amazon’s MP3 Music Store

Johnito and Music4Freedom stands in solidarity with the 600+ German temporary workers, who were used, mistreated and fired days before Christmas by Amazon and its third party hiring staff in order to get their holiday season orders shipped to customers. We believe in the fair treatment of all workers and expect to see Amazon make the necessary changes needed to their highly demanding workers system that abuses and damages the physical, mental and emotional health of its workers. We hope this message reaches all corporations who take advantage of migrant workers vulnerabilities and those who deny temporary workers their rights to fair treatment and equal pay. –End-


Music4Freedom encourages listeners to continue to support our work and music by not purchasing our music through Amazon MP3 while it is in the process of being taken down and instead stream, preview and purchase our music through the following music stores:

Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, emusic, Music Unlimited, Xbox Music, MOG, 7Digital, rdio, Deezer, Rhapsody, MySpace music, last.fm, simfy, muvemusic,

Continued: nokia, medianet, iHeartRadio, wimp, shazam, gracenote, Jukemymusic, slacker, JB HI-FI Now Music, MediaNet, TradeBit, GreatIndieMusic, Myxer, 24-7, Omnifone, Bloom.fm, Boinc, Samsung music hub

Spotify: Artists4Freedom

Artists4Freedom Singles: Artists4Freedom – Be Free

Music4Freedom Album: Various Artists – United Artists for Change

4Snowden Campaign: Resistance Is Vital by Johnito on Spotify – A tribute to Edward Snowden & All whistleblowers, freedom activists worldwide.

ITUNES: iTunes Various Artists – United Artists for Changehttps://itun.es/i6F53RF

Artists4Freedom – Be Free – EPhttps://itun.es/i6Fz4f6   

Johnito – Resistance Is Vital – Singlehttps://itun.es/i6Fz4fg


TAKE ACTION:

In solidarity with temporary workers in Germany affected by Amazon we ask for your support in signing the following petition letter to Amazon. We ask for contract workers and temporary workers who work for the world’s biggest online retailer Amazon to get more rights and better working conditions.

Let us create 50,000 signatures in support of workers’ rights

Please join in global support for Germany temporary workers to improve their working conditions as Amazon contract workers  

Petition link: https://www.change.org/de/Petitionen/amazon-deutschland-verbessern-sie-die-arbeitsbedingungen-ihrer-leiharbeiter

 

Missy Chiprin, Johnito & Gia Ibarra contributed to the writing of this post.


 

Exclusive Interview with award winning photographer Lisa Kristine

In witnessing modern day slavery, Lisa Kristine has immortalized still images of the slaves she met on her travels with (FTS) Free the Slaves – A not for profit organization whose mission is to end slavery worldwide; in search of the hidden, the unseen, the world’s forgotten slaves. “Lisa captures images that reveal the pain of slavery and the hope of freedom.” -FTS In witnessing modern day slavery, Lisa Kristine has immortalized still images of the slaves she met on her travels with (FTS) Free the Slaves – A not for profit organization whose mission is to end slavery worldwide; in search of the hidden, the unseen, the world’s forgotten slaves. “Lisa captures images that reveal the pain of slavery and the hope of freedom.” -FTS

 

Lisa Kristine is a photographer and humanitarian whose famous works include the visual documentation of indigenous cultures in over 100 countries spanning over six continents. Lisa’s most recent work titled “Slavery” spotlights human enslavement worldwide highlighting the plight and suffering of families, and individuals; men, women and children who live and work without pay, without freedom. Lisa’s current exhibition “Enslaved” is a visual story which spotlights modern day slavery educating and inspiring those who view it

 

Lisa Kristine’s photography work has been utilized in the media to educate and inspire action in their readers who view her photography. Recently Lisa was named Humanitarian Photographer of the year by the Lucie Foundation who honors the world’s top photographers. The Lucie Foundation said: Lisa is a “master storyteller,” her photographs instinctively identify the universal human dignity in all of us.

 

 

Music4Freedomrecently interviewed Lisa Kristine. We would like to share the following interview with you and hope that you too are motivated and inspired to take action!

Music4Freedom: Your work inspires and educates the public about the unity in our differences. Your series titled “Slavery” awakens in us the awareness that slavery still exists. Can you share with us a little bit more about your work’s purpose?

Lisa Kristine: My work’s purpose is to create awareness that slavery exists, to bring about an impact and motivate the public to take a stand to end slavery in our lifetime! My series “Slavery” spotlights the face of modern day slavery. You can find more information about my work on my website http://www.lisakristine.com/

Music4Freedom: When and how did you first learn that slavery still exists and what moved you to photograph human enslavement?

Lisa Kristine: I was the sole exhibitor at the 2009 Peace Summit attended by his Holiness Dalai Lama, when I first learned that slavery still exists through a conversation with a friend and supporter of Free the Slaves. We began talking about slavery – actually I began learning about slavery. I had no idea this unfathomable tragedy was far more pervasive than at any other time in human history. Within weeks I flew to meet with Free the Slaves and asked how I could help.

Music4Freedom: Why is the cause to end slavery important to you and what did you learn through your collaboration with Free the Slaves?

Lisa Kristine: The cause to end slavery is important to me because it is a human issue that impacts and affects all of us. I learned that we can all make a difference while this problem exists; to enable the eradication of slavery in our lifetime.

Music4Freedom: Your current exhibition “Enslaved” is a visual story of modern day slavery. How would you define modern day slavery and what do you hope to achieve with your work through this exhibition?

Lisa Kristine: I define modern day slavery as constantly being under the threat of violence, not being paid for the work you do and not having the freedom to leave.

Through my exhibition “Enslaved” I hope to make people aware that slavery exists, inspiring them to take action and be motivated to take a stand and liberate people from slavery.

Music4Freedom: For your photography series “Slavery” you shared an experience you had while photographing people who live in slavery conditions. You said “They still have dreams, of someday being freed.” What do you believe is one factor people enslaved shared at the time you took their photographs?

Lisa Kristine: HOPE is what united and defined them. Hope united them in the sense they had hope and longed for their freedom, even while enslaved.

Music4Freedom: In interviews, you have shared that domestic violence and slavery are similar, why do you believe this to be true?

Lisa Kristine: Slavery is similar to domestic violence in the sense that victims are constantly under the threat of violence.

Music4Freedom: What is your message to young people who have just learned slavery still exists and want to take action but don’t know where to begin?

Lisa Kristine: There is nothing you can’t do if you believe you can. I would advise young people to begin where they are, create groups within organizations and create a roadmap for change

Music4Freedom: What is the importance of survivor voices in the mission to ending slavery worldwide?

Lisa Kristine: The voices of survivors are the most important on the ground to bring others to liberation from slavery.

“They are the heroes! Sex trafficking survivors have the greatest ability because they know how to help and they teach us how to help.” ~Lisa Kristine

Music4Freedom: What does freedom mean to you and what do you believe is the key to ending slavery worldwide?

Lisa Kristine: The key to ending slavery worldwide is Possibility. Through our work done in Unity; it’s a choice we make, to believe we can end slavery. To make people aware that slavery exists today and inspire action

“Where there is will, change is possible. We can be that change. I hope these images will awaken a force in people who view them, people like you. I hope that force will ignite a fire, and that fire will shine a light on slavery. For without that light, the beast of bondage will continue to live in the shadows.” –Lisa Kristine

Music4Freedom: We would like to thank you for joining us in this interview and sharing your work with the world so they might be aware of the existence of modern day slavery and be motivated to take action

– END –

To learn more about Lisa Kristine visit: www.lisakristine.com

Lisa’s “Slavery” series can be seen and purchased here: http://www.lisakristine.com/slavery-standard-book/   

Lanzamiento Global del Album Digital “Artistas Unidos Por la Libertad.”

 

 

 

El álbum El álbum “United Artists for Change” tiene como objetivo crear conciencia sobre la esclavitud moderna y recaudar fondos a beneficio de Coalicion para abolir la esclavitud moderna (Abolish Slavery Coalition) con 70% de ganancias para apoyar su trabajo. El álbum de 13 canciones cuenta con las voces de artistas independientes, internacionales incluyendo al ganador del CNN iReport, artista de hip-hop Omekongo Dibinga. El joven compositor Thomas Goedecke y La cantante para World Vision, Ezereve y muchos más.

 

MUSIC4FREEDOM – Anuncia el Lanzamiento global del álbum digital “Artistas Unidos por El Cambio” (United Artists for Change.) en contra de la esclavitud moderna – trata y tráfico de personas

Music4Freedom una organización de voluntarios con base centrada en los derechos humanos, está orgulloso de anunciar el lanzamiento de United Artists for Change– álbum digital con el propósito de crear conciencia en las mentes de aquellos que escuchen el mensaje en su música.

El álbum tiene como objetivo recaudar fondos a beneficio de Coalicion para abolir la esclavitud moderna (Abolish Slavery Coalition) con 70% de ganancias para apoyar su trabajo. El álbum de 13 canciones cuenta con las voces de artistas independientes, internacionales incluyendo al ganador del CNN iReport, artista de hip-hop Omekongo Dibinga. El joven compositor Thomas Goedecke y La cantante para World Vision, Ezereve y muchos más.

Meg Nezaj, co-productora del album “United Artists for Change”dijo: “este álbum es el resultado de una colaboración de dos años; música y producción entre artistas internacionales, compositores, fabricantes de ritmo y productores. Las letras del álbum se centran principalmente en la esclavitud moderna conocida como; El tráfico de seres humanos; trata de personas, tráfico de niños, explotación laboral y sexual, niños soldados, servidumbre y la violencia contra las mujeres.”

Según Audio animales, el equipo de servicios de masterización que han trabajado con grandes artistas como Martin Hearn (baterista de clase mundial los Drifters) LTJ Bukem + Madcap (leyendas del tambor y el bajo) Francis Wood (finalista en la voz) el álbum ha sido descrito como “Uno de los álbumes más inspiradores y emocionantes que hemos masterizado hasta ahora.”

“He decidido escribir para este álbum porque soy un artista. Como artista, estoy obligado a decir la verdad en lo que veo. Estoy obligado a compartir mis puntos de vista con el mundo, especialmente si esto significa la liberación de otra persona. Tener el poder de compartir algo que pudiera cambiar o salvar la vida de alguien y no usar ese poder es de hecho matar a la persona en necesidad. No quiero matar sueños. Quiero ayudar a liberarlos al mundo con mi trabajo, con mi arte. Creo que el arte puede no sólo educar sino liberar y por eso estoy tan profundamente honrado de ser parte de este proyecto increíble, liberador y educador “– Omekongo Dibinga (Feat.) United Artists for Change)

Artistas Unidos por el cambio (United Artists for Change) está disponible en todas las tiendas de música en línea principales incluyendo iTunes, Sony Music Unlimited , Spotify & Xbox música Google Play bajo el nombre “United Artists for Change

 

Para obtener más información, favor de contactar:

Gia Ibarra – Fundador/Co-Productora de Music4Freedom

Meg Nezaj – Co-productora y Coordinadora de campañas de música

Correo electrónico: m4fcampaigns@gmail.com / megnezaj@gmail.com

Coalición para la abolición de esclavitud “Abolish Slavery Coalition”

La abolición de la esclavitud coalición impide la propagación de la esclavitud moderna ayudando a establecer y mentor tráfico tarea fuerzas humanas tanto nacionalmente e internacionalmente para encontrar y proteger a aquellos que han caído en la esclavitud abolishslavery.org

Acerca de Music4Freedom

Music4Freedom se dedica a la protección de los derechos humanos mundiales a través de campañas de música. Nuestra visión es inspirar, despertar las mentes y los corazones de los oyentes motivarlos a tomar acción.

 

Music4Freedom Album Release!

 

Abolishing Slavery Through Music!

 

Announcing: The official release of Music4Freedom first Modern Day Slavery digital album “United Artists for Change” A collaboration between International Independent Artists to educate, raise funds and awareness to support the work of Abolish Slavery Coalition with 70% from all album proceeds to support their work. The 13-track album features the voices of International, independent artists including;

CNN iReport Award winner, Hip-Hop Artist Omekongo Dibinga, young music composer Thomas Goedecke, and World Vision singer, songwriter Ezereve. Anti trafficking artists Sarah Carpio, Robert Coello, Brian Parsons, Dylan’s Dharma. Producer/Singer, Song-Writer Emanuel J Knight. Gospel /Christian Music Artists Tina Pantli, Eliane Linda, Jason Grech & Up & Coming Hip-Hop/R&B artist ACE

 

Music4Freedom seeks to educate the public about modern day slavery and human trafficking through music campaigns and digital music downloads which aims to spotlight the work of Abolish Slavery Coalition. This is Music4Freedom’s first anti slavery album and second charity digital music collection to support survivors of human trafficking, slavery and violence against women.  

United Artists for Change > is featured on The Abolish Slavery Coalition website. Visit the blogpost here:  http://www.abolishslavery.org/music4freedom/

United Artists for Change is available from all major online music stores including;   iTunes   Google Play  emusic  Sony Music Unlimited  Special thanks to the following production teams and group of talented individuals who made this album possible through their work, talents, skills and dedication. Jeff Cripps, Producer of A Sharp Recording Studio – Australia  Julien AUDUC, Producer of Stars Hound Production -France & Audio Animals – London UK Audio Mastering Services.

According to Audio Animals, the mastering services team who have worked with major artistes including Martin Hearn (world class drummer The Drifters) LTJ Bukem + Madcap (drum and bass legends) Francis Wood (finalist on The Voice) The album has been described as:

“One of the most inspirational and moving albums we’ve ever worked on.”

— Audio Animals Mastering Service Team

“I chose to write for this album because I am an artist. As an artist, I am obligated to speak the truth in what I see. I am obligated to share my perspectives to the world, particularly if it means the liberation of someone else. To have the power to share something that may change or save someone’s life and not use that power is in fact killing the person in need. I don’t want to kill dreams. I want to help release them to the world with my work, my art. I believe art can not only educate but liberate and that is why I am so deeply humbled and honored to be part of this incredible, liberating and educational project.”

— Positive Hip-Hop Artist Omekongo Dibinga

“This album is the result of a two year production & music collaboration between international artists, composers, beat-makers and producers. The album lyrics focus primarily on human trafficking; child labor, child soldiers, sex trafficking, domestic servitude and violence against women.”

— Meg Nezaj Co-Producer of United Artists for Change Album

“Throughout history music has been utilized as a source of inspiration, healing as well as an educational and advocacy tool in demanding an end to slavery; promoting equality, justice and freedom. Music was a common form of advocacy for both slaves and abolitionists from the early 1830’s onward. Let us join forces through activism and music to further awaken the cause to abolish slavery, human trafficking in our lifetime. ”

— Gia Ibarra Founder Music4Freedom

About Abolish Slavery Coalition

The Abolish Slavery Coalition prevents the spread of modern-day slavery by helping establish and mentor human trafficking task forces both domestically and internationally in order to find and protect those who have fallen into slavery abolishslavery.org

About Music4Freedom

Music4Freedom is dedicated to the protection of global human rights through music campaigns. Our vision is to inspire, awaken the minds and hearts of listeners motivating them to take action. Music4Freedom is a volunteer based organization focused on human rights.