Amazon Prime Day started Monday and continued on into Tuesday — including the protests against the company’s conditions for workers.
What We Know:
- The workers at an Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minessota announced their plan to protest a week ahead of the first of two Prime Days. The plan is to strike for six hours and hold a rally in front of the warehouse. They’re demanding that the company ease productivity quotas, convert more temporary workers to Amazon employees, and do more to address on-the-job injuries.
- Employees are exposed to conditions which include “mandatory overtime” (up to 60 hour long weeks), a high injury rate, and no time off starting in mid-November. “These should be jobs that are safe, reliable, and that people can depend on…It’s very mentally stressful; it’s very physically stressful…” William Stolz, a striking worker at Amazon’s Shakopee warehouse, told Recode.
“I’m new in the country, and I know we have rights,” Amazon worker Hibaq Mohamed told The Verge. “That’s what America does: it makes things better, and if I see something isn’t right, and not fair, I just decided to become a strong person, and that I have the right to speak up.”
- The Awood Center (a community organization for workers in Minnesota with East African heritage) is leading the strike. This is not the first time that they have helped Amazon workers get justice, with them getting Amazon to reduce workloads for those fasting for Ramadan and them getting the company to create a designated prayer space.
- Overall, the strike will not have a major impact on Amazon and the other 100 warehouses they have. However, this is a way for the workers to show their need to speak about injustice in their jobs. Amazon’s promise last year to pay a $15 minimum wage is not helping the fact that the company is constantly upping the pressure on its employees. Especially with Amazon offering new “one-day shipping” for its customers, employees in the warehouse now have to work even harder to fulfill the numerous orders as fast as possible, no matter how they feel.
I fully support Amazon workers' Prime Day strike. Their fight for safe and reliable jobs is another reminder that we must come together to hold big corporations accountable. https://t.co/ZkDDt9zeHv
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) July 15, 2019
- The protest is getting national attention, including from presidential contender Elizabeth Warren.
- There are protests happening all over the world against the company, including Germany on Monday protesting for better pay. The company is getting some negative publicity internationally despite the hype behind “Prime Days.”
These workers deserve justice.