Amazon Prime Day, the company’s equivalent to Black Friday, is a glorious two days of discounts. Video game players, in particular, are tempted with numerous discounts on games, accessories, and consoles. Prime Day even encourages other companies to offer discounts.
Many do not see behind the scenes.
Amazon workers spend 10 hours of grueling workdays to help Amazon run. Employees are using Prime Day to spark protests fueled by their working conditions and unfair pay. The spark spread throughout the world as thousands of Amazon employees are striking against the multinational company.
Earlier today, employees at Amazon facilities in Germany went on strike with the slogan “No more discounts on our incomes,” according to CNN. About 2,000 employees from seven sites in Germany are protesting their minimum wage and workplace stress. The protestors are calling for collective bargaining.
Workers in Minnesota also started protesting today. They walked out of a facility in Shakopee, Minnesota and plan to protest outside for six hours. Their protest is centered around a variety of issues including more respect for the East African workforce and a call for Amazon to address climate change.
This is all happening on top of protests against Amazon and their interaction with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Protests planned for this week in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and Shakopee are calling for Amazon to break off ties with the enforcement agency.
Protests are also taking place across the UK, Spain, and Poland.
Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Senator and presidential candidate, supported the protests on Twitter.
I fully support Amazon workers' Prime Day strike. Their fight for safe and reliable jobs is another reminder that we must come together to hold big corporations accountable. https://t.co/ZkDDt9zeHv
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) July 15, 2019
Amazon warehouse workers are faced with demanding tasks daily such as packing hundreds of boxes nonstop. Reports indicate that workers are largely fired for productivity issues. One journalist, James Bloodworth, went undercover in the Amazon workplace for his book, Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain. Bloodworth reported that workers skipped bathroom breaks or peed in bottles to accomplish certain tasks on time.
Amazon employees in the US are paid a minimum wage of $15 an hour, which is an increase from last year. Amazon does not expect the protests to impact operations in any way. They sent out the following statement to news media:
“These groups are conjuring misinformation to work in their favor, when in fact we already offer the things they purport to be their cause – industry leading pay of $15 per hour, benefits, and a safe workplace for our employees. If these groups – unions and politicians they rally to their cause – really want to help the American worker, we encourage them to focus their energy on passing legislation for an increase in the federal minimun wage, because $7.25 is too low.”
Devin is a recent graduate of the University of North Texas where he studied journalism. He enjoys story-driven adventure games, which makes Naughty Dog his favorite developer(Sic Parvis Magna). Devin will avidly say that Avatar: The Last Airbender is the best show with Breaking Bad following close behind.