Amazon Warehouse Workers Plan Strike During Prime Day 2019
Amazon’s Prime Day is one of its busiest times of the year. And warehouse workers in Minnesota are hoping the spectacle surrounding that day will also shine a spotlight on their issues with the retail giant.
Workers plan to strike for six hours on July 15, the first half of Prime Day 2019, at the fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minn. It’s just one of over 100 warehouses, but it could be a microcosm of larger employee unrest. This is the first time Amazon workers have walked off the job on a notable sale day.
Among the issues being protested is a failure on Amazon’s part to convert more temps to full time employees and production quotas, that organizers say have created safety issues for workers.
Amazon, in a statement to Fortune, called the allegations “baseless.”
“The fact is Amazon offers already what this outside organization is asking for,” the company said. “We provide great employment opportunities with excellent pay – ranging from $16.25-$20.80 an hour, and comprehensive benefits including health care, up to 20 weeks parental leave, paid education, promotional opportunities, and more. We encourage anyone to compare our pay, benefits, and workplace to other retailers and major employers in the Shakopee community and across the country.”
The company added that 90% of Amazon associates at the Shakopee fulfillment center are full time employees. And over 100 temporary workers have converted to full-time status so far this year. Productivity metrics, it says, haven’t changed for over seven months, with the few employees who fail to meet them receiving coaching to help them improve.
Amazon has faced work actions on Prime Day before. In 2018, a group called Amazon En Lucha held a labor action on Prime Day, saying it hoped to gather wider support among employees in Amazon’s other European warehouses. The striking employees were protesting an increase in hours and the elimination of bonuses, among other things.
Prime Day 2019 will be a two-day event running July 15-16. The company says this will be its biggest yet, with over 1 million deals globally.
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