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Workers at a Shakopee, Minnesota fulfillment center plan a six-hour work stoppage across two shifts on July 15, the first Prime Day sale, according to Bloomberg News, which first reported the story.
The workers -- led by East African Muslim immigrants -- say Amazon has failed to meet certain demands, like converting more temps to employees and permanently easing productivity quotas that they’ve said has made the jobs unsafe and insecure, Bloomberg reported.
According to the Verge, Amazon regularly fires employees who are unable to meet challenging quotes, which requires workers to move quickly and precisely throughout the entire shift.
In a statement to FOX Business, however, Amazon said it provides “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.”
“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,” the company added.
There have been a number of strikes at Amazon warehouses on big shopping days (such as Black Friday), but those have largely taken place in Europe, where unions are much stronger.
The company, one of the world’s most valuable, has become a lightning rod for income inequality, while simultaneously facing accusations that it has managed, repeatedly, to dodge paying its fair share in taxes. Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Democratic candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. called for the break-up of Amazon.
While Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., -- another Democratic candidate -- didn’t go quite as far, he also suggested “we should definitely take a look” at splitting up big tech companies, Amazon included.
And last year, Sanders also introduced a bill, named the “Stop BEZOS Act”, which would have forced large employers, including Amazon, to cover the cost of food stamps given to employees. However, Amazon shortly thereafter announced that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour.