Monday, July 15, 2019

Amazon workers launch protests on Prime Day



 Thousands of workers in Amazon sites around the world are staging protests about pay and conditions as the online retailer begins its annual sale.

 Unions say that 2,000 workers are on strike in Germany, while in the US, workers in a Minnesota centre reportedly plan a six-hour stoppage. In the UK, week-long protests are planned.

William Stolz, a picker at a warehouse in the Shakopee warehouse in Minnesota, told the BBC that workers wanted "safe, reliable jobs" from Amazon.
He says he has to pick an item about every eight seconds, or 332 per hour, for a 10 hour day.
"The speeds that we have to work are very physically and mentally exhausting, in some cases leading to injuries," he said.

In Germany, where Amazon employs 20,000 people, labour union Verdi said more than 2,000 workers at seven sites had gone on strike under the logo "no more discount on our incomes".
"While Amazon fuels bargain hunting on Prime Day with hefty discounts, employees are being deprived of a living wage," said Orhan Akman, retail specialist at Verdi.
In the UK, GMB union officials handed leaflets to workers arriving at the site in Peterborough in the East Midlands, and in the coming days protests are expected at other sites such as Swansea and Rugeley, in the West Midlands.
Mick Rix, GMB national officer, said: "Amazon workers want Jeff Bezos to know they are people not robots. It's prime time for Amazon to get round the table with GMB and discuss ways to make the workplaces safer and to give their workers and independence voice".

In total, Amazon has a global workforce of 630,000, with 300,000 in the US.


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