Amazon workers at the Shakopee Minnesota fulfillment center are planning a six-hour work stoppage on Amazon Prime Day, Monday, July 15 to protest wages and working conditions, according to a Bloomberg News report.
Last year the company committed to paying all employees at least $15 an hour. Amazon also said in a statement that they already provide competitive hourly pay rates from $16.25 to $20.80, with benefits, and invited people to tour the facility and see for themselves, the report said.
While a pair of complaints were filed last week with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) claiming that Amazon illegally punished workers for their activism, most of the other approximately 50 complaints received by the NLRB about Amazon have been withdrawn or dismissed, the report said.
The work stoppage is being organized by the Awood Center, a group that advocates for Somali and other East African workers and was formed as a partnership between the Minnesota chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 26, according to a KSTP report.
According to the Bloomberg report, the Shakopee facility is the only one of Amazon’s over 100 U.S. warehouses where a work stoppage is being planned. The report noted that warehouses in the Twin Cities have become an “epicenter” of worker activism led by East African Muslim immigrants who have presented management with demands such as reduced workloads while fasting for Ramadan. The activists have also circulated flyers at other nearby fulfillment centers urging workers to wear blue shirts and hijabs in support of the demands.
The work stoppage will take place over six hours and will start during the last three hours of the day shift and continue over the first three hours of the night shift. Amazon doesn’t expect the work stoppage to significantly affect its operations, the Bloomberg report said.
Last December, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar joined workers outside the Shakopee facility to protest what workers said were poor working conditions at the facility and a lack of religious provisions. In a speech at the protest, Omar acknowledged that Amazon had helped “close the gap in unemployment that exists in the East African community,” but said the company needs to do more to “uplift” the community.
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