According to a report by Bloomberg, Amazon workers at the Minnesota Shakopee fulfillment center plan a six hour strike on July 15, to coincide with the start of this year’s Prime Day sale.
The online retailer recently announced it was holding its annual Prime Day sale this year on July 15 and 16, expanding it to a full 48 hour sale.
“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. 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.”
William Stolz, one of the Shakopee employees organizing the strike (to Bloomberg)
Labor actions during busy times are not new for Amazon. In Europe, workers have gone on strike during holiday sales and special events demanding better working conditions.
Amazon provided us this afternoon with a statement regarding the planned work stoppage at the Minnesota fulfillment center.
“The fact is Amazon offers already what this outside organization is asking for. 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 – and we invite anyone to see for themselves by taking a tour of the facility.”
First strike in US
If the strike moves forward, this labor action by the Minnesota workers may be the first in the US against Amazon during a holiday or sales event.
In 2016, ABX Air (Amazon Air contractor) pilots planned a strike leading up to Thanksgiving, but a Federal Judge squashed the strike and no delivery disruptions occurred.
On July 15, employees at the Shakopee fulfillment center plant to strike for a total of six hours, starting with three hours at the end of the day shift and three hours at the beginning of the night shift.
The report of this planned strike follows a TV segment on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver HBO show claiming poor working conditions at Amazon warehouses.
On Twitter, Dave Clark, Executive Vice President at Amazon pushed back against the claims made during the segment.
It is unlikely that this strike will have a meaningful impact on deliveries for that day. However, it places the company in the news again about allegations of poor working conditions at its fulfillment centers.
Story was updated with Amazon statement on 7/8 at 6/18pm EST