Workers at an Amazon fulfillment center in Minnesota are planning to rain on the company’s Prime Day parade, organizing a walk-off to call attention to working conditions, employee status and pay, according to a report in Bloomberg.
The workers plan to stage two three-hour walk-offs on different shifts next Monday, July 15, the first day of the two-day Prime Day sales extravaganza. The Amazon facility in Shakopee, MN outside Minneapolis is one of about 100 distribution, fulfillment and sortation centers the company operates in the U.S.
“Amazon is going to be telling one story about itself, which is they can ship a Kindle to your house in one day, isn’t that wonderful,” William Stolz, one of the strike organizers, told Bloomberg. “We want to take the opportunity to talk about what it takes to make that work happen and put pressure on Amazon to protect us and provide safe, reliable jobs.”
Amazon workers in Europe have struck before around Prime Day and Black Friday to put pressure on the company, but there has been relative labor peace here. Contract pilots flying for Amazon Air, its growing air freight division, have staged strikes protesting their pay scale, and there was a three-hour walk-off in March at the Shakopee facility.
An Amazon spokesperson told Bloomberg the company provides competitive hourly rates ranging from $16.25 to $20.80 with benefits, while offering tours of the facility to check out the working conditions there.
Last year Amazon instituted a $15 minimum wage in response to various criticisms. It has been weathering attacks from Democratic politicians about working conditions, benefits and pay, including from presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and firebrand U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
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