Will a worker walkout put a kink in Amazon’s Prime Day results?
A group of workers at an Amazon.com fulfillment center in Minnesota is planning to walk off the job for six hours on July 15 during the 48-hour Prime Day event being held by the e-tail giant, according to reports.
The would-be strikers are calling on the company to provide more temporary workers with the option of becoming full-time employees. Some engineers, who do not work at the facility located in Shakopee, are planning to fly into the state to join the work action.
“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.”
The e-tail giant has been relatively free of labor strife in the U.S., although there have been occasional reports about unsafe working conditions at some of its warehouses. Amazon raised its minimum hourly wage to $15 after facing pressure from politicians and labor activists.
Last year, Muslim workers at the same Shakopee fulfillment center protested over a lack of time to pray, as required by their faith. The same workers said they were penalized for failing to achieve the company set number of packages picked with no accounting for the time needed for their religious rituals.
Amazon has faced labor issues in overseas markets where labor unions have led strikes against the company during periods of high sales activity including Black Friday and Prime Day.
- Amazon workers plan Prime Day strike despite $15-an-hour pledge – Bloomberg/The Philadelphia Inquirer
- Amazon workers are reportedly planning a Prime Day protest – CNBC
- Muslim Amazon workers say they don’t have enough time to pray. Now they’re fighting for their rights. – Vox
- Should retail rivals see Amazon’s $15 minimum wage and raise it $1? – RetailWire
- Did Amazon just ‘turn up the heat’ on rivals with its Prime Day announcement? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you expect more Amazon employees in U.S. facilities to join protests against the company’s labor, environmental or other practices? How do you think Amazon will react if it is faced with an organized workforce in the U.S.?