July 10, 2019
Amazon employees plan strike for Prime Day
by Ryan Harrington
July 15th. The high noon of summer. And it seems like we’re itching for a showdown.
On that day, workers in Amazon’s Shakopee, Minnesota fulfillment center plan to strike in protest of dangerous productivity quotas, and in support of more temp jobs becoming full time positions.
The action coincides with the first day of the two-day exclusive sales event known (somewhat confusingly) as Prime Day.
As Josh Eidelson and Spencer Soper report for Bloomberg
Of late, warehouses in Minnesota’s Twin Cities region have become an epicenter of worker activism, led by East African Muslim immigrants who organizers say compose the majority of the five facilities’ staff. Last 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. They also circulated flyers at a nearby fulfillment center urging co-workers to wear blue shirts and hijabs in support of the same cause.
But the warehouse workers will not be acting alone, nor solely in their own interests, as Eidelson and Spoer continue:
In an effort to show solidarity, a handful of Amazon’s white collar-engineers intend to fly to Minnesota to join the demonstration, where activists will demand the company take action against climate change as well as easing quotas and making more temps permanent employees. “We’re both fighting for a livable future,” said Seattle software engineer Weston Fribley, one of several employees from the group Amazon Employees For Climate Justice who will be making the trip.
According to The Verge “Other retailers tend to drop prices during Prime Day, so you’ll also find the best anti-Prime Day sales from eBay, Walmart, Best Buy, and more.” So perhaps you too can do your part of slowing down Amazon on Prime Day.
Ryan Harrington is a senior editor at Melville House.