Published: Tue, July 09, 2019
Markets | By Erika Turner

Amazon Prime Day strike planned for next week by warehouse workers

Amazon Prime Day strike planned for next week by warehouse workers

Amazon launched Prime Day five years ago as a means of boosting sales during the dog days of summer.

Awood Center is a nonprofit worker center based in Minneapolis that says it works to build power amongst workers in the East African community of Minnesota. So they've called for a six-hour stoppage that will overlap the morning and evening shifts on Prime Day.

"In order to show that they won't wait around any longer in the face of these injustices", Muse told the Post, "workers chose to go on strike on Prime Day to show they are serious about achieving a voice on the job to win the things families in Minnesota and across the country deserve".

Organizers say the actions led to talks between employees and management last fall and spurred some modest changes. Amazon declined to comment. These include relaxing pressure on workers to meet quotas during Ramadan and the designation of a conference room as a prayer space. Prime Day 2018 was met with major opposition from workers as a strike was supported by European workers in Spain, Poland, Germany, Italy and France. Previous year workers thronged the entryway of a delivery center chanting "Yes we can" in Somali and English, presenting management with demands such as reduced workloads while fasting for Ramadan. Workers also intend to rally outside the warehouse.

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In a statement (via The Washington Post), Amazon said the protest's demands have already been met, explaining that the facility's workers are paid $16.25 to $20.80 an hour (Amazon recently raised its minimum pay to $15 an hour, according to the Post) and that 90% of the workers were full-time employees. Additionally, Amazon says it provides employees with a "comprehensive benefit package including health insurance, disability insurance, retirement savings plans, and company stock".

The allegations come from complaints filed in 2019 with the National Labor Relations Board. One alleges that Integrity Staffing Solutions, Amazon's staffing vendor, illegally retaliated and fired an employee organizing a walkout in March. They don't fool around, ' he said.

"We're both fighting for a livable future", an Amazon software engineer from Seattle who is making the trip to Minnesota, told Bloomberg.

"Amazon offers already what this outside organization is asking for", a company spokesperson stated in an email to CBS MoneyWatch, referring to the Awood Center, an advocacy group for the Amazon warehouse workers.

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