Amazon is hosting its annual Amazon Prime Day starting on July 15, 2019. The company is anticipating a busy shopping day.
Workers at the fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota are planning to strike during the event to push for better working conditions.
Shoppers are greatly anticipating Amazon's annual Prime Day sales, but not everyone is so excited. According to Bloomberg, workers at the Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota plan on a six-hour work stoppage on July 15, to coincide with Prime Day. Some of Amazon's engineers will also be flying out from Seattle to join the strikers in a show of solidarity. “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,” said William Stolz, Amazon employee and one of the strike organizers, tells the paper. “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 organizers are "Protesting the company’s decision to offer one-day shipping to Prime members, which they say place unreasonable stress on already overworked employees who each put out hundreds of orders per hour," Vox reports. The company's failure to turn temps into permanent employees is also an issue. “Amazon is widely reported to have very strict working conditions for people on the floor," Marc Wulfraat, who works at a supply chain and logistics consulting firm that monitors Amazon, tells USA Today. "They’re very quick to let people go who can’t meet those objectives."
In response, Amazon sent a statement to Bloomberg: "The fact is Amazon offers already what [organizers are] asking for, and we invite anyone to see for themselves by taking a tour of the facility." In addition, Amazon told Fox Business it has “great employment opportunities with excellent pay — ranging from $16.25 to $20.80 an hour, and comprehensive benefits including health care, up to 20 weeks parental leave, paid education, promotional opportunities and more.”
So far, the strike in Minnesota is the only one that has been announced by Amazon employees. Right now, it's unclear what disruption this will cause for Prime Day. Though there have been similar strikes like this in Europe, this is the first one in the United States planned for a big shopping day. But USA Today's Wulfraat says the strike will likely not have much of an effect on productivity because Amazon can fill orders from other warehouses.
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